Nine foreigners arrested in planned assault

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Nine foreigners arrested in planned assault

Nine foreigners have been arrested by Gyeonggi Nambu police for carrying out a brutal assault on two passengers in a parked vehicle.
 
Seven of the arrested are Uzbek, while the remaining two are Russian and Kazakh. One Uzbek woman has also been booked without detention for helping them escape.
 
Four of the arrested individuals were recorded by a dashboard camera in a nearby car carrying out their assault on the Russian and Ukrainian victims in broad daylight at 4:50 p.m. on Feb. 8 in an urban area of Hwaseong, Gyeonggi.
 
The footage shows the victims’ white sedan pinned against a wall by a black sedan and blocked by a black van parked across the street in front, both vehicles used by the assailants, as four of them wielding blunt instruments descended on the vehicle.
 
Police said a passenger in another vehicle out of sight directed the assault.
 
Although a video of the incident became known online as the “random assault by foreigners,” an investigation by police revealed that the crime was, in fact, a thoroughly premeditated act of revenge.
 
The organizer of the crime, a 49-year-old Uzbek man, was previously arrested by police last September for an earlier assault on one of the victims, a 39-year-old Russian man. The victim agreed to settle the previous assault, but demanded a large settlement from the Uzbek perpetrator.
 
According to police, the perpetrator also heard that the victim stole drugs from one of his acquaintances and threatened to report the acquaintance for illegally overstaying in Korea, at which point the perpetrator decided to lure the victim to Hwaseong to carry out a second assault on Feb. 8.
 
After receiving a report from a witness at the site, police arrested the perpetrator and his co-assailants on Feb. 17. Police recommended prosecutors indict six of the arrested on Feb. 19, while they plan to recommend indictment for the remaining three on Feb. 25.
 
Upon hearing from one of the assailants that the Russian victim stole drugs from him, police are also investigating whether members of the group were involved in drug trafficking.
 
At the time of the arrests, one of the arrested individuals had 80.1 grams (2.8 ounces) of marijuana in his possession. Police plan to charge him with violation of the Narcotics Control Act.
 
Samples of all the perpetrators’ hair have also been sent to the National Forensic Service for narcotic tests.
 
Considering the fact that the chief perpetrator of the assault enlisted nine other people and three vehicles in carrying out the crime, police are also investigating any ties the group might have to an organized criminal ring.
 
BY CHOI MO-RAN, MICHAEL LEE   [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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