Man who cloned star’s phone arrested

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Man who cloned star’s phone arrested

The head of a private detective agency allegedly involved in the cloning of actress Jun Ji-hyun’s cell phone was arrested yesterday.

According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, the suspect, identified by the last name Kim, 39, duplicated the actress’s cell phone at the request of Sidus HQ, Jun’s management company. Kim allegedly received 6.4 million won ($4,659) in cash in return. Jun’s management company used the cloned phone to keep tabs on the actress, police believe.

Kim is accused of making duplicate mobile phones for 38 clients who suspect their spouses of infidelity or who were involved in property disputes, beginning in March 2006. Kim allegedly received between 500,000 won to 6 million won per case, amassing a total of 76 million won.

Police say that Sidus HQ chief Jung Hoon-tak met Kim in a hotel coffee shop in Gangnam, southern Seoul, to request the clone so that he could “monitor Jun’s text messages.” Jung also gave Kim personal information about Jun’s father as the phone was in his name, police said. Kim allegedly passed the information to an associate, “A,” an expert in cloning cell phones. “A” successfully reproduced the electrical serial number of Jun’s phone, and created another cell, police said. He allegedly gave the new phone to Kim.

Kim then became a member of Jun’s mobile provider’s center for online customers and subscribed to a service that enables users to read their text messages on the Internet.

Jung was able to keep track of Jun’s personal life a day after he requested the phone, according to police.

Police said that Jung frequently accessed the service center’s Web site between Nov. 21 and 26 in 2007. Jun replaced her cell phone a month later after being warned of a possible security breach by her phone company.

Police are currently looking for “A,” but it is proving difficult because he had communicated with Kim via a cell phone obtained under a stolen identity.


By Jang Joo-young JoongAng Ilbo [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]

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