Gyeonggi provincial gov’t raided in real estate development scandal probe

SEOUL– Prosecutors raided the Gyeonggi provincial government Tuesday as part of their widening investigation into a high-profile real estate development scandal allegedly connected to the main opposition leader.

The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office sent a team of investigators to seize email records of Jeong Jin-sang, a vice chief of staff to Democratic Party Chairman Lee Jae-myung.

Jeong, considered a “right-hand man” to Lee, worked as a senior policy secretary to Lee from 2018 to 2021 while he served as the governor of Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul.

The scandal, which could deal a blow to Lee, centers on the allegations that a small number of unheard-of private asset management companies were allowed to reap astronomical investment profits from a real estate development project in Seongnam’s Daejang-dong district inside of Gyeonggi Province when DP leader Lee was the city’s mayor before becoming a governor.

Jeong was put under pretrial detention last Saturday on charges of receiving about 140 million won (US$106,000) from real estate developers between 2013 and 2020 in return for offering business favors.

Prosecutors suspect Jeong leaked real estate development information he obtained while working for the Seongnam municipal and the Gyeonggi provincial government to the real estate developers, including lawyer Nam Wook, to help them amass massive profits from the Daejang-dong project.

Tuesday’s raid also comes a day after Nam claimed that he heard Lee held a stake in one of the partners in the project.

Nam also said he offered hundreds of millions of won to Lee’s side during the 2014 local elections when he was running for reelection as mayor of Seongnam.

He made the allegations during a court hearing, hours after being released from prison at midnight Sunday due to the expiration of his detention period.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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