3 family members of Osstem embezzlement suspect booked on collusion suspicions

SEOUL/PAJU, South Korea-- Police have booked three family members of a dental implant maker employee arrested for allegedly embezzling 221 billion won (US$185 million) in company funds on suspicions of possible collusion.

Police were looking into whether the father, the wife and the sister-in-law of the 45-year-old Osstem employee, identified only by his surname Lee, played a part in the suspected embezzlement, believed to be South Korea's single largest embezzlement case.

Lee, who was arrested Saturday, allegedly used the embezzled money to buy 851 gold bars. Police have confiscated 755 of them, including 254 from three separate locations in connection with the father, Lee's wife and his sister.

The focus of the investigation of the three family members was on whether they took part in the suspected embezzlement or stashing of criminal proceeds.

Officials at Paju Police Station in Paju, 30 kilometers north of Seoul, were also searching for Lee's father after the 69-year-old went missing earlier in the day, leaving a suicide note.

He was scheduled to face police questioning earlier in the day on suspicions of helping his son stash the embezzlement proceeds.

Osstem Implant, the country's largest dental implants manufacturer, has repeatedly emphasized that Lee had acted alone, but police suspect that the fund was too big to be stolen by a single team leader-level employee like him.

A day earlier, the company raised additional embezzlement charges against Lee and separate charges of stashing criminal proceeds against Lee's family members, including the wife, his sister and the sister-in-law's couple.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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