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Police may search Chongryon headquarters Wed.

TOKYO, Nov. 27 Kyodo

(EDS: ADDING INFO)

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) may search the headquarters of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) on Wednesday in connection with a suspected embezzlement case involving the failed Chogin Tokyo credit union, investigation sources said Tuesday.

The MPD has already questioned two senior officials of Chongryon, a group of Korean residents in Japan who are loyal to Pyongyang, over the suspected embezzlement of more than 1 billion yen by former Chogin Tokyo head Chong Gyong Saeng, 64.

The two Chongryon officials are suspected of instructing former Chogin Tokyo officials including Chong to illegally divert the funds by disguising loans.

Chong, who was arrested Nov. 8 on suspicion of obstructing a 1998 Tokyo metropolitan government financial inspection of the union by withholding information about borrowers, has admitted to police the embezzlement was carried out at the request of the Chongryon officials, according to the sources.

But one of the two officials, who has been hospitalized, has denied involvement in the case, the sources said. The other official, 63, is a former deputy head of Chongryon's finance bureau.

Chong allegedly embezzled the money from the failed credit union from 1994 though 1998 by pretending to have extended more than 20 loans to firms and individuals.

The police believe 20% of the funds embezzled went to Chongryon.

The MPD is expected to serve fresh arrest warrants on Chong on Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling 800 million yen, they said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Dec 3, 2001
Words:247
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