Prosecutors raid Seoul police agency over nightclub scandal

SEOUL-- Prosecutors raided the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) on Friday to look into allegations that a ranking police officer tried to cover up irregularities at nightclubs in an affluent Seoul district.

Investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office searched the office of a senior superintendent, identified only by his surname Yoon, at the SMPA headquarters to seize his computer hard drive and other materials relevant to their ongoing probe.

The investigators tried to raid the National Police Agency (NPA) headquarters in Seoul in the morning, but they moved to the Seoul headquarters after facing opposition from police officers, according to officials.

The 49-year-old Yoon made headlines early this year after he was mentioned in group chatrooms of K-pop stars, including former boy band BIGBANG member Seungri, as someone who helped cover up illicit dealings at nightclub Burning Sun and other businesses run by Seungri.

Yoon is suspected of tipping Seungri and his business partner, Yoo In-suk, a former head of Yuri Holdings Co., off about a planned crackdown by Seoul's Gangnam Police Station in July 2016 on alleged food sanitation law violations by another Seoul nightclub, Monkey Museum, co-founded by the two.

Police investigators sent Yoon's case to prosecutors in June with a recommendation that he be indicted on charges of abusing power and obstructing the exercise of rights.

Prosecutors have since widened their probe into an allegation that Seungri and Yoo treated Yoon to illicit meals and golf trips.

Yoon and Yoo allegedly played golf four times and dined together six times between 2017 and 2018, while the senior police officer was given free concert tickets three times.

But police investigators had not charged Yoon with violating the anti-graft law because the value of the alleged favors did not warrant criminal punishment.

Prosecutors last week arrested a former head of specialty ink maker Nokwon C and I, surnamed Jeong, who reportedly acted as a link between Yoon and Yoo, on charges of embezzlement.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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