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Senior prosecutor offers resignation following controversy over personal wealth

All News 18:35 April 02, 2016

SEOUL, April 2 (Yonhap) -- A senior prosecutor here offered to step down Saturday after a controversy flared up over his recent sale of listed stocks in which he pocketed millions of dollars, an informed source said.

Jin Kyung-jun, a senior prosecutor currently working as head of the Justice Ministry's Korea Immigration Service, has offered to resign, but largely because he feared the recent controversy over his personal wealth may undermine the reputation of his organization, a justice ministry official said, while speaking on the condition of anonymity.

A few days ago Jin came under suspicions of engaging in an inappropriate, if not illegal, business deal in the early 2000s that allowed him to purchase then-unlisted shares of a local online game developer.

Under a mandatory report, the 49-year-old said he sold all his 801,500 shares of the South Korea-based firm listed on the Japanese stock market for about 12.6 billion won (US$10.94 million) in 2015, resulting in a 3.79 billion-won increase in his personal wealth from the previous year.

All ranking government officials and lawmakers are required to disclose changes in their personal wealth annually.

Suspicions arose quickly after it was reported Jin had worked at the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit of the Financial Services Commission, suggesting that the very chance to purchase such large quantities of unlisted shares may had been a favor from the company.

Jin has strongly rejected suspicions, claiming the investment opportunity had been initially offered to a friend of his, who then decided to share the opportunity with many of his own friends, including Jin.

"Jin has internally verified how he came to buy and sell those shares," the ministry official said. "But from what I understand, he decided to quit as he feels the ongoing controversy may undermine the reputation of the Justice Ministry and the prosecution."

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