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Telegram sex crime suspect extorts from high-profile figures

By Kim Se-jeong

Sohn Seok-hee
Sohn Seok-hee
Cho Ju-bin, 24, accused of blackmailing women and minors to make sexually abusive videos, is also facing fraud allegations involving two journalists and a former politician, according to police Thursday.

Outside Jongno Police Office in Seoul, Wednesday, Cho mentioned Sohn Seok-hee, a former journalist and CEO of cable news channel JTBC; Yoon Jang-hyeon, a former Gwangju mayor; and Kim Woong, an independent journalist, in his public apology.

The unexpected statement by Cho made many speculate that these three mentioned have some involvement in his crimes. The police quickly dismissed the speculation, saying the three had nothing to do with the sex crimes, briefly adding that the three could be fraud victims of Cho and that the police force was investigating.

Details of fraud involving Sohn was made public the same day, as the CEO released a statement explaining what had happened.

According to the statement, "Cho approached me through Telegram, saying he was running a private detective agency and one of his clients was K, with whom I had a legal fight. He told me that K had paid him to harm me and my family. I asked Cho to send the picture of the bank transaction as a proof and he demanded money for it. I sent the money and Cho never got back to me. I didn't report this to the police because we weren't sure if that could keep us safe. Later I learned that the private detective agency owner was apprehended for making sexual videos and distributing them."

The "K" mentioned in the statement refers to journalist Kim Woong, against whom Sohn filed a criminal complaint for attempted intimidation. Kim's trial is ongoing.

Yoon Jang-hyeon
Yoon Jang-hyeon
Police said Cho also approached Yoon, former Gwangju mayor, through Telegram, last year. Cho said he could help Yoon get the chance to speak for himself regarding a corruption case against him. The former mayor is being tried for sending money to a fraud suspect who promised him a candidacy nomination for an election.

Cho demanded money from Yoon, saying he knew Sohn and could help arrange an interview on JTBC about the case. Yoon sent money and even drove up to Seoul to visit JTBC, according to the police.

The police said the suspect also approached Kim and other independent journalists, demanding money for a scoop involving politicians.

In the Telegram chat room, according to the police, Cho habitually bragged about his relationship with politicians, mentioning Yoon's name.


By Kim Se-jeong

Sohn Seok-hee
Sohn Seok-hee
Cho Ju-bin, 24, accused of blackmailing women and minors to make sexually abusive videos, is also facing fraud allegations involving two journalists and a former politician, according to police Thursday.

Outside Jongno Police Office in Seoul, Wednesday, Cho mentioned Sohn Seok-hee, a former journalist and CEO of cable news channel JTBC; Yoon Jang-hyeon, a former Gwangju mayor; and Kim Woong, an independent journalist, in his public apology.

The unexpected statement by Cho made many speculate that these three mentioned have some involvement in his crimes. The police quickly dismissed the speculation, saying the three had nothing to do with the sex crimes, briefly adding that the three could be fraud victims of Cho and that the police force was investigating.

Details of fraud involving Sohn was made public the same day, as the CEO released a statement explaining what had happened.

According to the statement, "Cho approached me through Telegram, saying he was running a private detective agency and one of his clients was K, with whom I had a legal fight. He told me that K had paid him to harm me and my family. I asked Cho to send the picture of the bank transaction as a proof and he demanded money for it. I sent the money and Cho never got back to me. I didn't report this to the police because we weren't sure if that could keep us safe. Later I learned that the private detective agency owner was apprehended for making sexual videos and distributing them."

The "K" mentioned in the statement refers to journalist Kim Woong, against whom Sohn filed a criminal complaint for attempted intimidation. Kim's trial is ongoing.

Yoon Jang-hyeon
Yoon Jang-hyeon
Police said Cho also approached Yoon, former Gwangju mayor, through Telegram, last year. Cho said he could help Yoon get the chance to speak for himself regarding a corruption case against him. The former mayor is being tried for sending money to a fraud suspect who promised him a candidacy nomination for an election.

Cho demanded money from Yoon, saying he knew Sohn and could help arrange an interview on JTBC about the case. Yoon sent money and even drove up to Seoul to visit JTBC, according to the police.

The police said the suspect also approached Kim and other independent journalists, demanding money for a scoop involving politicians.

In the Telegram chat room, according to the police, Cho habitually bragged about his relationship with politicians, mentioning Yoon's name.


Kim Se-jeong skim@koreatimes.co.kr


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