Ex-president Chun's brother-in-law arrested for alleged tax evasion
Lee Chang-seok was transferred to a Seoul detention center late Monday on suspicions he evaded taxes worth 11 million U.S. dollars in two separate land transactions, one of which directly involved one of Chun's sons.
In 2006, Lee sold 460-thousand square meters of land in Osan a city just south of Seoul to Chun's second son, Jae-yong, for just one-tenth of its officially appraised value.
Prosecutors allege Lee evaded transfer and gift taxes worth some five million dollars in the process.
Lee has long been suspected of being the caretaker of the ex-president's illegal funds which prosecutors think have been stashed away in paper companies and bank accounts associated with Chun's family members.
Lee is the first relative of Chun put behind bars since the prosecution launched a probe to reclaim the ex-president's wealth.
Chun is thought to have raked in hundreds of millions of dollars illegally through bribes from big businesses during his military rule in the 1980s.
In 1997, Chun was ordered by the nation's top court to return to state coffers some 1-hundred-97 million dollars of the money he illegally amassed while in office.
Chun who came to power in 1980 through a coup has only paid a quarter of this fine since then, saying that he doesn't have a penny to rub together.
With the arrest of the ex-president's brother-in-law, it appears likely prosecutors will soon summon the ex-president's son, Chun Jae-yong, who has been implicated in an illegal land transaction and speed up their investigation.
Kim Yeon-ji, Arirang News.
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