Jan 20, 2017

Fleeing Korea while under Police/Prosecutor Investigation: International Hold in Korea

From changes a couple of years ago in the computer system and policy of the Korean Immigration Services, even if the Korean prosecution/police have not requested that an accused be placed on an international hold, some records of police investigations, indictments and proposed fines and sentences by the prosecution/police are being reported to the Korean Immigration Service.

An international hold, in Korea, is an official procedure that flags passports and fingerprints and prevents one, under this international hold, from departing Korea prior to the lifting of the international hold.

law firm Korea, IPG Legal, SJ Law Firm


Even if you are not under an official international hold, Korea Immigration may refuse your departure or entry into Korea based on information from data being shared between the Police, Prosecution, National Tax Service and other Korean government agencies.  Please note that the Korea Immigration is a branch of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Justice is in charge of the majority of prosecutions in Korea. 

Thus, in short, someone under investigation in Korea may be stopped at the airport even if not under an official international hold.  

Thus after arrest, fleeing to the airport may not be advisable.  If you are perceived to being fleeing Korea, things may get much worse. 

Other articles on Korean criminal law and criminal attorneys that may be of interest:
Sean Hayes may be contacted at: SeanHayes@ipglegal.com.

Sean Hayes is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw.