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Preliminary probe under way into firm at center of controversial development project in Seongnam

All News 21:16 September 19, 2021

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- Police said Sunday they were looking into the cash flow of an asset management company at the center of corruption allegations raised over a land development project in the city of Seongnam.

Officials said Yongsan Police Station has recently questioned the president of Hwacheon Daeyu as part of an ongoing internal probe into the asset management firm.

The National Police Agency was informed by the Korea Financial Intelligence Unit in April of a suspicious flow of funds at the company and followed up with an internal investigation, the officials said.

Opposition lawmakers have raised allegations that Hwacheon Daeyu received a business favor to join a lucrative public land development project in the Daejang district of Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, while incumbent Gyeonggi Gov. Lee Jae-myung was serving as the city's mayor.

The company is reported to have pocketed dividends worth 1,154 times its investment in the project.

The same day, the camp of Lee, who is currently leading the ruling Democratic Party's primary for the 2022 presidential election, lodged a formal complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office in connection with the allegations.

Lee's camp filed the complaint against Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon, floor leader of the main opposition People Power Party, and other party officials, claiming they spread false information involving the development project to "thwart (his) campaign," in violation of the Public Official Election Act.

This photo shows the entrance of the office of asset management firm Hwacheon Daeyu. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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