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MB’s aides’ homes, offices are raided in probe

Mar 06,2018
Prosecutors on Monday raided properties of two aides of former President Lee Myung-bak over suspected involvement in bribery allegations against the ex-leader.

Investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office searched homes and offices of Chun Shin-il, chairman of Sejoong, a local travel and logistics company, and Choi See-joong, former head of the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the state broadcasting and telecom watchdog, the prosecution said.

They are suspected of raising illegal campaign funds from the private sector in the run-up to and after the 2008 presidential election and delivering them to another aide of Lee’s.

75-year-old Chun has been a friend of the former president’s since college and was one of Lee’s closest aides throughout his presidential campaign.

Choi, 81, has been dubbed Lee’s “mentor.” He was tapped to head the KCC in 2008 and retained the post for most of Lee’s presidency.

The raids come as part of a widening probe into a string of corruption allegations against the former president, who was in office from 2009-2013.

It is widely expected the prosecution will summon him soon for questioning over the allegations.

A fresh allegation was raised late last month that Lee Pal-seung, a former chief of Woori Finance Holdings, paid the ex-leader some 2.2 billion won ($2.03 million) in bribes to take the top seat at the then state-controlled financial group.

The former president also faces suspicions that he is the hidden owner of a lucrative local auto parts maker, DAS, which on paper belongs to his eldest brother, and exerted behind-the-scenes influence over management.

He is also implicated in 1.75 billion-won bribery allegations linked to the state spy agency.