20 March 2018

S.Korean scandal fugitive arrested in Europe

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South Korea’s power abuse scandal continued to eclipse even the country’s most far-fetched dramas Monday, as police confirmed the arrest of Chung Yoo-ra - a 20-year-old woman with ties to impeached President Park Geun-hye.

Chung had apparently fled from her known base in Germany to Denmark because she was detained in Aalborg a day earlier after South Korean authorities asked Interpol to issue a “red notice” when she failed to respond to them directly.

A 2014 Asian Games gold medal-winning dressage competitor, Chung has become embroiled in her home country’s controversy amid claims she received special favors through her now arrested mother Choi Soon-sil’s close relationship with Park.

Such alleged benefits include preferential entrance and grading from Seoul’s prestigious Ewha Womans University and Samsung Group’s support for her equestrian career.

A separate court case is currently trying to establish the extent to which Choi may have abused her unofficial status as a “special confidante” to accrue wealth, as Park’s impeachment trial is also partly focused on the suspicion that she helped her friend force large donations from South Korea’s largest conglomerates.

Choi’s daughter did not endear herself to the public when her social media activity came under scrutiny -- a 2014 post went as follows: “Blame your own parents if they don’t have the ability. Don’t point fingers at us if your parents don’t have what it takes. Money is also a form of ability.”

Her repatriation is considered a formality with Seoul’s justice ministry cooperating on the matter, while Danish officers took three other unknown people into custody -- including an infant according to South Korean police.

Investigators previously threatened criminal charges against anyone who might help Chung escape.

2017.01.02 / 12:44
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