3/17/2007

Suspected Kidnapper Nabbed

By Kim Rahn Korea Times

The police Friday arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of orchestrating last month's kidnapping of a golf course owner.

The suspect, Chong Song-il, is the son of Chong In-suk, a woman who was believed to be the mistress of a high-ranking official in the 1960s and who died mysteriously.

Incheon International Airport Police arrested Chong near his house in southern Seoul early yesterday morning, 18 days after the kidnapping.

On Feb. 26, the owner of a golf course in Kyonggi Province, identified by his surname Kang, his 24-year-old son and his driver were taken abducted by a group of men at the airport.

They escaped two days later from a villa in PyeongChang, Kangwon Province, where they had been held. Kang claimed two of his relatives had ordered gangsters to kidnap him in a plot to take over management of the golf course.

Earlier this month the police arrested the 66-year-old uncle of Kang, identified as Yoon, and a former senior prosecutor, Kim, on suspicion of planning the abduction.

Chong is suspected of leading a team of six who kidnapped Kang and the two others.

According to the police, Chong suggested the kidnapping to Yoon and Kim at a restaurant in Seoul on Feb. 20. He asked Yoon to give him 150 billion won in exchange for Yoon usurping the management from Kang. When Yoon accepted, Chong organized the team and kidnapped Kang.

Chong reportedly admitted his involvement but claims Yoon and Kim led the abduction.

His mother, Chong In-suk, was found dead after being shot on a road near the Han River in 1970. The culprit was never found. As she was the mistress of a high-profile political figure, speculation has mounted over the identity of her then-three-year-old son's father.

The son, Chong, left for the United States in 1985. In 1991, he filed a suit against former Prime Minister Chong Il-kwon to confirm he was the politician's son, but withdrew the suit one month later.



rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr

03-16-2007 18:29

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SeanHayes@ipglegal.com