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Prosecutors seek arrest of key suspect in Seongnam development scandal

All News 17:46 October 12, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors sought an arrest warrant Tuesday for the owner of an asset management firm at the center of a snowballing regional development corruption scandal over allegations his firm received massive business favors in exchange for bribes.

Kim Man-bae, a former journalist, is facing a series of allegations in connection with how his previously little-known firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, was selected as a civilian partner for the 2015 development project in the city of Seongnam, south of Seoul, and reaped astronomical profits.

He is suspected of colluding with Yoo Dong-gyu, acting president of the Seongnam Development Corp. in charge of the city-run project, to get his firm to take part in the lucrative project to develop Seongnam's Daejang-dong district into apartment complexes.

Kim allegedly gave Yoo 500 million won (US$418,769) as part of a deal to pay him a total of 70 billion won.

Yoo has already been arrested on charges of breach of trust and bribe-taking.

The arrest warrant request came a day after Kim was questioned by prosecutors.

The scandal has been the hottest issue in South Korea amid opposition accusations Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung, who won the ruling Democratic Party's presidential nomination Sunday, was responsible, as he was mayor of Seongnam at the time.

Kim Man-bae, owner of Hwacheon Daeyu, an asset management firm, speaks to reporters after arriving at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Oct. 11, 2021, for questioning. (Yonhap)


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