FC Seoul's Ki Sung-yueng questioned for illegal land usage

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FC Seoul's Ki Sung-yueng questioned for illegal land usage

Ki Sung-yueng [YONHAP]

Ki Sung-yueng [YONHAP]

 
Footballer Ki Sung-yueng of FC Seoul has been summoned for questioning by police on the suspicion of illegally buying and misusing land, according to police on Monday.
 
Ki denies the accusations against him.
 
Ki and his father are accused of violating the Agricultural Land Act and the National Land Planning and Utilization Act by submitting a fraudulent agricultural plan for 10 plots of farmland they bought between 2015 and 2016 in Geumho-dong, Seo District, in Gwangju.
 
According to police, Ki and his father bought 15,442 square meters (3.8 acres) of land for 5.8 billion won ($5.16 million) over four purchases.
 
The duo is suspected of converting part of their farmland into a parking lot for crane trucks, which police view as an illegal use of land for purposes other than which it was registered for.
 
Police began their investigation last month after they received a tip-off which claimed Ki and his father Ki Young-ok, former head of Gwangju FC, wrote an agricultural management plan to acquire farmland while Ki played in the English Premier League.
 
Under the Agricultural Land Act, people who plan to buy farmland are required to submit a farming business plan that details their farming experience, purposes of farming, farm tools and machinery and other information.
 
According to Gwangju Police, the younger Ki was summoned for questioning from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. the previous day.
 
The Gwangju Police’s anti-corruption crime investigation team first notified Ki and his father of the allegations against them on April 14, after the two reportedly earned a huge profit by reselling parts of their land to developers early this year.
 
According to police, Ki said that he sent money to his father, who told Ki he needed money to build a soccer training center.
 
The elder Ki underwent police questioning last Thursday.
 
Police said that the FC Seoul midfielder has denied charges of improper land registration and use, and that an investigation was still under way based on statements from Ki and his father.
 
When the suspicions came to light on April 22, Ki apologized in an Instagram post, saying “I am truly sorry for having caused public concern inadvertently. It is my fault resulting from my ignorance.”
 
BY MICHAEL LEE   [lee.junhyuk@joongang.co.kr]
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