Two suspects charged in ₩400 million heist

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Two suspects charged in ₩400 million heist

Pohang Southern Police sought arrest warrants for two men suspected of stealing over 400 million won ($360,000) last month after they were found at a highway rest stop on Saturday.

Police said they secured about 1.7 million won in cash as evidence, and they will continue to investigate where the rest of the money went.

The case has attracted public attention after it was revealed that the victim, surnamed Park, 68, is a cousin of a former CEO of a Pohang-based conglomerate.

The two suspects, surnamed Yoo and Jeon, who are both 38 and are friends, have been charged with special theft after police wrapped up three days of questioning.

Police said the two suspects were caught at Hwanggan Rest Stop on the Gyeongbu Expressway while they were headed to Seoul on Saturday.

The suspects admitted under questioning to stealing a money sack from Park’s home containing 415 million won in cash as well as 10 million won in valuables including necklaces and rings.

Police said the suspects appeared to have already spent most of the money on renting a house, Internet gambling and other entertainment expenses in the past few weeks.

Despite online speculation about the money’s source after the disclosure of the victim’s links to a conglomerate, police said that the suspects had no prior relationship with the victim.

“The suspects have no such relationship with Park,” a Pohang police official said. “They just stole the money sack by chance, as Park’s house was empty and its doors were open.”

Park had told police that he prefers not to use a bank and that the money was for his retirement.

“We won’t investigate into Park’s money because he is the victim,” the Pohang police official said.

By Hong Gweon-sam []
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