Senior cop arrested in probe of Burning Sun

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Senior cop arrested in probe of Burning Sun

Prosecutors said Friday they will widen investigations into a police officer allegedly involved in attempts to cover up irregularities at southern Seoul nightclubs, following his arrest the previous night.

A senior superintendent of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, identified only by the surname Yoon, was placed under arrest Thursday night after the Seoul Central District Court approved a warrant for his pretrial detention, citing concern about destruction of evidence.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office had earlier requested an arrest warrant for Yoon on charges of accepting bribes, violating the Capital Market Act, obstructing the legitimate exercise of powers and abetting destruction of evidence in connection with its probe into illegalities at Seoul nightclubs.

The 49-year-old Yoon made headlines early this year after he was mentioned in group chat rooms of K-pop stars, including former boy band Big Bang member Seungri, as someone who helped cover up illicit dealings at the Burning Sun nightclub and other businesses run by Seungri.

Yoon is suspected of tipping Seungri and his business partner, Yoo In-suk, a former head of Yuri Holdings, off about a planned crackdown by Seoul’s Gangnam Police Station in July 2016 on alleged food sanitation law violations by another southern Seoul nightclub, Monkey Museum, co-founded by the two.

Police investigators sent Yoon’s case to prosecutors in June with a recommendation that he be indicted on charges of abusing power. Prosecutors have since widened their probe to include an allegation that Seungri and Yoo treated Yoon to illicit meals.

Prosecutors recently arrested a former head of specialty ink maker Nokwon C&I, surnamed Jeong, who reportedly acted as a link between Yoon and Yoo, on charges of embezzlement.

They are also investigating an allegation that Yoon had accepted stock worth several tens of millions of won from Jeong in 2016 in return for helping cover up corruption charges against the businessman.

Meanwhile, prosecutors said they will look into whether the presidential office and other ranking police officers played a role in the previous police investigation into the Seoul nightclubs, as Yoon had worked at the Blue House from 2017 to 2018 under the supervision of Justice Minister Cho Kuk, then senior presidential secretary for civil affairs.

Prosecutors are paying attention to Jeong’s relations to the Cho family’s private equity fund, due to its investment in Cubes, the predecessor of Nokwon C&I, in 2014.

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