Police looking into suspected narcotics use by Chun’s grandson

Police have launched a preliminary investigation into a grandson of former President Chun Doo-hwan over suspected illegal drug use, officials said Monday.

Chun Woo-won, who is currently in New York City, recently made allegations about corruption involving his family as well as suspected drug offenses by him and some of his acquaintances.

He was rushed to a hospital Friday (Korean time) after appearing to take narcotics while live streaming on YouTube.

A photo of former President Chun Doo-hwan and his grandsons is shown in this image captured from an Instagram post by Chun Woo-won, one of Chun's grandsons, on March 15, 2023. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"We are currently conducting a preliminary investigation and checking the safety of the subject through an attache there," an official from the National Office of Investigation said.

The police have also started inquiries into suspected drug offenders mentioned by him. The agency applied for warrants to seize their social media accounts to identify them.

The former president, who died at the age of 90 in 2021, seized power in a 1979 military coup and served as a president from 1980 to 1988. He was imprisoned for treason and corruption in 1996, but was released through a presidential pardon the following year.

Chun Woo-won is seen in this image captured from his Instagram post. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Chun Woo-won is the son of the former strongman's second son, Jae-yong. Last week, he posted undisclosed photos and fresh revelations about his family on social media, which have gone viral in South Korea.

He referred to his grandfather as "a slaughterer," due to a bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy uprising in Gwangju in 1980.

He accused his family of living luxuriously using a huge amount of hidden slush funds of his grandfather.

The former president had been ordered to forfeit about 220 billion won (US$167.7 million) but refused to pay in full, citing a lack of money. So far, about 58 percent of the total has been collected.

Chun Woo-won claimed his father is working to obtain U.S. citizenship to evade the law and use the illegal fund hidden in the United States, while accusing his uncle of operating an expensive winery in California with black money.

On Monday, a civic group filed a complaint with the prosecution against the Chun family's alleged irregularities, including hiding and using criminal proceeds, and obstructing justice.

Prosecution and police officials said they are looking into Chun Woo-won's remarks for possible investigation into the family members.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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