SUWON, South Korea, May 6 (Yonhap) — Police in Suwon, south of Seoul, said Wednesday they have confiscated billions of won that a key figure in a major hedge fund scandal may have embezzled from a related company and stashed in a private safe.
Kim Bong-hyun, a financier believed to be the largest financial source of Lime Asset Management Co., was arrested late last month. Lime has been under probe over its alleged cover-up of massive losses and subsequent suspension of fund redemption worth an estimated 1.6 trillion won (US$1.3 billion).
Kim has been probed on suspicion that he may have misappropriated 24.1 billion won from a local bus company in Suwon from late 2018 to early 2019. It was previously acquired by a firm with funds borrowed from Lime.
Kim, who had been on the run since December over the embezzlement case, was apprehended on April 24 with 530 million won in cash.
He later told Suwon police that he put 5.5 billion won in a private vault in Seoul. The bundles of cash were in three travel bags.
The source of the money is being traced by the prosecution, which took over the embezzlement case from the police on May 1.
Kim told police the money is linked to a veterans’ mutual aid society, from which he is also suspected of siphoning off about 30 billion won of customers’ deposits.
Prosecutors are trying to capture a runaway executive of the bus company, who allegedly conspired with Kim in the crime.