Won Sei-hoon, former chief of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) was arrested on Wednesday evening on charges that he accepted hefty bribes from a construction company.
This makes him the second former intelligence chief who was arrested on corruption charges.
The Seoul Central District Court issued an arrest warrant for the former spy chief, citing, “there is a reasonable concern that the suspect might attempt to destroy evidence or flee”
The former intelligence chief left for the Seoul Detention House at midnight on the day after awaiting a court ruling at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
Prosecutors requested an arrest warrant for Mr Won on July 5 on charges that he accepted 150 million won ($133,594) worth of kickbacks from Hwang Bo-yeon, former head of Hwangbo Construction, in return for peddling influence to help the builder get construction projects.
Prosecutors suspect the former spy chief received 110 million won cash, $40,000 and two dons of gold worth 4.5 million won from Hwang for helping Hwangbo Construction receive government-level and major construction projects since his inauguration in 2009.
Prosecutors alleged that upon Mr Hwang’s request Mr Won had abused his power over contractors so that Hwangbo Construction could win the Samchoeck Green power plant project placed by the Korea Southern Power and the construction project of Home Plus’ training center in Inchoen.
By Kim Dong-eun, Chang Won-joo
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