Prosecutors slap travel ban on three of former President Chun's children
Prosecutors have banned three of former President Chun Doo-hwan's children -- two sons and his daughter -- from traveling abroad as part of a widening investigation into whether the former president hid money that he amassed while he was in office in the 1980s in tax havens overseas.
The former president was ordered by a court in 1997 to return 220 billion won, or 196 million U.S. dollars, to the state coffers that officials said he had collected illegally during his seven-plus years in office.
So far, he's only repaid a quarter of the total and has thus far refused to repay the rest,saying he is nearly broke.
Chun is suspected of hiding the funds in bank accounts opened under his relatives' names.
Chun's eldest son, Chun Jae-kook is alleged to have set up a shell company in the British Virgin Islands in 2004 to hide the funds his father had stashed away.
He will be banned from overseas travel, along with one of his brothers and his sister.
Chun also has another son who is not part of the travel ban.
The case is being investigated by a team of nearly 30 prosecutors and investigators from the National Tax Service, who plan to seek international cooperation to track the funds.
On Wednesday, the team raided Chun's residence in Seoul and seized documents and property.
They also searched 12 houses owned by Chun's relatives and two companies managed by Chun's eldest son.
The statute of limitations on the case was set to expire in October, but the National Assembly passed a law revision in June that extended it for cases involving public officials accused of accumulating illegal funds from three years to ten.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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