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No security guards on duty during break-in to Indonesian envoys' hotel room: police

All Headlines 14:16 February 20, 2011

SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Yonhap) -- No security guards or police officers were manning a Seoul hotel when three intruders broke into a room that Indonesian envoys were staying in and stole secret computer files, police said Sunday.

Seoul's Namdaemun Police Station, which is in charge of the incident, said that no officers were dispatched to Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul to guard the 50-member delegation, nor did the hotel dispatch guards for tightened security.

The delegation of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono arrived in Seoul on Tuesday for a three-day visit to discuss bilateral cooperation.

Security guards from Indonesia were escorting the presidential delegation on Wednesday evening when the suspects forced their way into the hotel and stole classified information, police said.

The investigators have been looking into the rare robbery after the Indonesian delegation reported that the trio -- two men and one woman -- were caught using a USB memory stick to copy computer files from one notebook computer owned by an Indonesian delegate, then fled from the hotel in Sogong-dong, near Seoul's City Hall.

Police said the intruders, all presumed to be Asian, were believed to have illegally entered the hotel room in an attempt to steal classified information on Indonesia's planned arms trade with South Korea.

They suspect the intruders targeted the envoys' room in particular to steal sensitive data as the suite was located on the 19th floor, which means the crime may not have been accidental.

Investigators said they have secured the hotel's surveillance video footage to track down the suspects, but have had difficulty identifying them due to the blurry images that were taken from a distance.

The envoys met with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Wednesday to discuss ways to expand bilateral economic and military cooperation, including South Korea's plan to sell the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic trainer jet to the Southeast Asian country.

The Indonesian delegation returned home on Thursday.

It has yet to be confirmed whether the Indonesian government has lodged a diplomatic complaint over the break-in.

brk@yna.co.kr
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