Ar­rest war­rant for Lotte chair­man sought

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

SEOUL: South Korean pros­e­cu­tors have re­quested an ar­rest war­rant for Lotte Group chair­man Shin Dong-bin, the re­tailto-chem­i­cals group said yes­ter­day, the lat­est twist in a broad crim­i­nal probe into the coun­try’s fifth-largest con­glom­er­ate.

A prose­cu­tion source with di­rect knowl­edge of the mat­ter said pros­e­cu­tors have sought a Seoul court’s ap­proval for the ar­rest war­rant as part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sus­pected em­bez­zle­ment and breach of trust.

The Lotte probe, which be­gan in June, has al­ready scup­pered a planned US$4.5 bil­lion (RM18.5 bil­lion) ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing by the group’s Ho­tel Lotte arm, ham­pered po­ten­tial merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tion deals and served as the back­drop of the ap­par­ent sui­cide of one of the group’s top ex­ec­u­tives last month.

The re­quest for an ar­rest war­rant comes af­ter pros­e­cu­tors ques­tioned Shin, 61, last week. Shin is in South Korea and will fully co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, a Lotte Group spokesman said, de­clin­ing to com­ment on why the war­rant had been re­quested.

Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Court is ex­pected to hold a hear­ing to­mor­row, to de­ter­mine the va­lid­ity of the war­rant re­quest, South Korea’s Yon­hap News Agency re­ported.

Yon­hap re­ported ear­lier yes­ter­day, cit­ing the of­fice, that pros­e­cu­tors were seek­ing an ar­rest war­rant con­cern­ing about 200 bil­lion won (RM746 mil­lion) in funds in sus­pected em­bez­zle­ment and breach of trust.

A spokesman for Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors’ Of­fice con­firmed the war­rant re­quest had been sub­mit­ted, de­clin­ing to com­ment on rea­sons for do­ing so. – Reuters

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