The police are poised to confiscate 1 billion won ($980,000) found in cardboard boxes at a warehouse in Yeouido, Seoul, last Wednesday.
The money is suspected to be a slush fund created by a private lottery dealer.
The investigators aim to track the source of the money and trace the whereabouts of the man identified by his family name Kang, who is reportedly staying overseas at the moment.
Yeongdeungpo police said they would cite Kang’s prior prosecution for running an illegal online sports lottery in the past as grounds for the confiscation. The 31-year-old self-employed businessman reportedly made tens of billions of won through illegal gambling.
“One billion won is an unusually large sum of money to be stored at a warehouse and was left under borrowed-name mobile phone numbers and fake identification. With Kang having planned to commit felonies in the past, the police have good reasons to seek the legal procedures,” an officer of the police station said.
The police are now tracing Kang, who reportedly left for Indonesia last Monday, two days before the boxes were discovered by the police. Officers are planning to question him on how he obtained the money and whether any illegalities were involved.
The “billion won boxes” were found Wednesday in storage on the 10th floor of Yeoeuido Department Store, and were originally suspected to be explosives. When police and a bomb disposal squad investigated they found 200 million won in 10,000 won notes in one box and 800 million won in 50,000 won notes in the other.
After studying surveillance camera footage and fingerprints the investigators identified Kang Friday afternoon.
By Bae Ji-sook (firstname.lastname@example.org)