Defense Security Command major caught pimpingA 44-year-old Defense Security Command major was arrested for at least 100 cases of procuring online prostitution.
The Defense Security Command, the counterintelligence arm of the Ministry of National Defense, is tasked with protecting military secrets. Thus, when Seodaemun police conducted a sting operation to crack down on prostitution, they did not expect the pimp to be a ranking official of the command.
The Seodaemun Police Station’s team in charge of cracking down on prostitution tracked a website for soliciting prostitutes and got in touch with a 21-year-old woman via the website by pretending to be interested in her services.
An investigator, pretending to be a client, arranged to meet the prostitute at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 near Sinchon Station, central Seoul. The investigation team identified her in hiding and contacted her, telling her something came up. Then, they began tracing her movement for the rest of the evening.
Around an hour later, the woman met with another man and headed to a motel near Sogang University. The investigation team arrested them on the spot. The woman later testified to police that she did not arrange the meetings with the men through online chat rooms and that someone had arranged them for her.
Through this woman’s testimony, the police arrested her pimp, who turned out to be a major of the Defense Security Command.
An official on the investigation team said, “At the time the major was arrested, he had three smartphones containing evidence of sex-for-money chat rooms, so he confessed.”
Police found that he had pimped out four young women in their early 20s, including the woman earlier arrested.
The major, through a “conditional meeting” website and chat rooms, played the role of selecting clients and arranging meetings with the women. He collected 20 percent, or 50,000 won ($44.20) of the 250,000 won fee the women received for their services.
“It appears that the major got to know these women through such ‘conditional meetings’ himself and came around to playing the role of their pimp,” said the investigation team official. “From the perspective of these young women, they seemed to have thought that the men that the major picked out and introduced to them would be safer.”
The Ministry of National Defense’s criminal investigation command took over the case from police on Saturday. A military official said, “The major testified during investigation that his wife has a brain tumor so he committed the crime to raise money for her surgery.”
The Defense Security Command on Sunday issued an apology.
BY HAM JONG-SUN, PARK SEONG-HUN AND SARAH KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]