Gov’t goes after Chun for W167B unpaid fine

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Gov’t goes after Chun for W167B unpaid fine

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Chun Doo Hwan

Vowing to go after former President Chun Doo Hwan for billions of won in unpaid fines, the prosecution said yesterday it will create a special team to uncover his hidden assets.

The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office announced yesterday it decided to create a special team to collect large fines with approaching deadlines. One of the biggests is Chun’s, which is supposed to show his contrition for corruption as military strongman from 1980 to 1988.

Prosecutor general Chae Dong-wook recently ordered his office to survey defaulters with large outstanding fines and come up with a plan to collect them.

A team dedicated to going after Chun was created under the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office. It will be composed of a prosecutor and seven expert investigators. The Supreme Public Prosecutors Office promised full support in tracking down Chun’s hidden assets. Chun was convicted of accepting bribes and running slush funds during his presidency.

The Supreme Court ordered him in 1997 to pay 220.5 billion won ($195.91 million) in a fine but he has paid less than 25 percent.

Chun has refused to pay the rest, insisting that he only has “a total of 290,000 won of personal assets.”

As of yesterday, his outstanding fine is 167.2 billion won and the deadline is Oct. 11.

The prosecution is not going after former President Roh Tae-woo, a former general who succeeded Chun as president and was convicted on similar charges.

Roh has been paying off his fine every month for years, the prosecution said. Of his 262.9 billion won fine, Roh only owes 23.1 billion won. His deadline is also Oct. 11.

The Hankyoreh newspaper reported yesterday that the prosecution discovered some of Chun’s hidden assets in 2004 but missed the opportunity to seize the money.

While investigating tax evasion allegation against Chun’s second son, the prosecution discovered that he owned 73.5 billion won worth of bonds which he inherited from the former president, the Hankyoreh reported. Prosecutors failed to file a suit in time to seize the money.

The Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office also said yesterday that apart from the team going after Chun, it will operate another unit to collect overdue and outstanding fines higher than 10 million won. The team will operate for the next 100 days.

According to the prosecution, there are more than 12,060 cases of overdue or outstanding fines that are over 10 million won. The total amount of the fines is about 27 trillion won.


By Ser Myo-ja [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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