Arab Times

US ‘returns $1m’ to SKorea:



The United States has returned more than a million dollars to South Korea that were embezzled by a former dictator and hidden abroad, officials said Tuesday.

South Korea’s former president Chun Doo Hwan was convicted of corruption in 1996 in his own country, but it took US agents years to track down the assets.

The money was returned on Monday and, on Tuesday, US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson met Korean Justice Minister Kim Hyun-Woong congratula­te him.

US officials said the return of the funds, $1.13 million in today’s dollars, demonstrat­ed Washington’s commitment to rooting out the profits of theft by foreign leaders.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch called the seizure “a powerful vindicatio­n of the rule of law and an important victory for the people of the Republic of Korea.”

The Department of Justice said FBI investigat­ors had traced $726,951 to a California account linked to the sale of Orange County real estate by Chun’s son.

A second $500,000 was traced to a Pennsylvan­ia company found to be linked to Chun’s “corruption scheme.”

The former leader, now 84, seized power after the 1979 assassinat­ion of longtime military ruler Park Chung-Hee.


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