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Defector indicted for allegedly siphoning off state subsidies

All News 14:19 April 12, 2017

SEOUL, April 12 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Wednesday they have indicted the leader of a local North Korean defectors' association on charges of siphoning off government subsidies.

Kim Yong-hwa, chief of the NK Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea, is accused of swindling some 135 million won (US$118,000) provided by the Korea Hana Foundation, the state-run agency in charge of supporting defectors, from May 2012 to June 2014.

The money was originally provided for emergency relief activities and the establishment of a center for female defectors, according to the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors' Office.

The 64-year-old is known to be partially denying the allegations, saying that the group did use some of the funds for emergency relief.

Kim Mi-hwa, a former executive of the association, was also indicted for allegedly collaborating with the group chief in the process, prosecutors said.

The number of North Korean defectors surpassed the 30,000 mark in November last year, according to government data. A total of 278 North Koreans came to South Korea in the January-March period.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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