A former native English teacher in Korea currently facing charges of paying a 14-year-old boy for sex in Cambodia was previously arrested in Seoul on suspicion of fondling a boy and had a history of sexual activity with minors, according to former friends and a recorded conversation.
If the allegations made in the report are true, it would mean a lot of folk really dropped the ball here, including the cops (“I overheard cops laughing about who was going to have to talk with the foreigner”) and possibly the foreign community of Haebangchon:
Savoy added that the allegations against V**** were widely known among foreigners in Haebangchon.
“People talked indignantly but did nothing. I’m excluding a few people from this, including myself as well as anyone else who actually reacted towards a solution, but the general response seemed to be that the shock was public property while justice was an unrelated taboo,” he said in an email.
Namely, the paper notes that the current E-2 visa system checks only to see if you’ve been convicted of a crime; it does not check if you’re wanted on suspicion of want. This means murders and rapists could run away to Korea to teach English and nobody would know. The drug check, too, determine whether you’ve done drugs only within the two weeks prior to the test. There has also been a lack of info sharing between investigative bodies like the cops and educational authorities despite what the paper describes as an endless string of drug offenses by foreign English teachers; this lack of sharing makes managing the foreign teacher population difficult.
The bigger problem, says the paper, are the unqualified teachers who enter Korea on tourist visas. Demand for teachers outstrips supply—there are currently about 20,000 foreigners in Korea on E-2 visas, but the number of foreigners teaching English is reportedly far greater. Anyway, the Kukmin Ilbo thinks the government needs to tighten up the foreign teacher hiring and oversight system and wants to see effective measures taken.
The Dong-A Ilbo has more on the case. According to them, the American—who’d been teaching in the Jeollabuk-do area for eight years—was wanted in the States on charges of sexually assaulting a female relative under 12 at his home four times in 2003. A commenter at GI Korea seems to think he knows the guy and give much more detail, but all the caveats about anonymous commenters apply.
An American man suspected of sexually abusing minors in the United States has been arrested in South Korea after an eight-year-long international manhunt, police here said Friday.
The 44-year-old suspect, whose identity has been withheld, is suspected of raping minors in the U.S. state of Kentucky four times between August and October 2003, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).
The suspect entered South Korea in 2004 via Thailand, the SMPA said, adding that he has since been working as an English tutor at private institutions, elementary schools, and universities in the southwestern Jeolla provinces, it added.
한편 지난 2010년 7월 회화지도 강사에 대한 사증발급지침 변경으로 비자신청시 범죄경력조회서가 요구되자 A 씨는 지난해 9월께 미국 범죄경력조회서를 FBI(미 연방수사국)로부터 우편으로 발급받아 제출한 것으로 알려졌다. 하지만 이 조회서엔 확정된 판결만 기재될 뿐 수사중이거나 수배된 사실은 기록되지 않아 E-2비자 재발급에 아무런 문제가 없었던 것으로 확인됐다.
외국인 출입국 관리와 회화지도 자격 비자 발급에 큰 허점이 드러난 셈이다.
So, just so we’re clear, you’re saying the FBI criminal checks teachers are supposed to submit DON’T include whether the guy is wanted or under investigation? Seriously?
The Korean cops are saying he hasn’t done anything in Korea and that they’ll simply extradite the guy to the United States. Frankly, though, given that a) he’s been in the country since 2004, and b) if the charges are true, he enjoys raping children, I find it hard to believe he didn’t do anything here. I hope the cops thoroughly investigate every aspect of this guy’s life for the last eight years before turning him over to the Americans.
Park was growing 57 pot plants at him home, where he built in indoor greenhouse. Even had CCTV cameras installed for security.
According to MBC, Park had been deported from the United States after getting busted for marijuana possession. Personally, I find this difficult to believe—if beating your girlfriend and then getting fingered by Russian intelligence as a possible jihadi isn’t enough to get you thrown out of the United States, I can’t imagine ICE showing a Korean dude the door toking up.
Park is claiming he was growing it for his own personal consumption since life’s been tough and growing it is cheaper. Plus, it’s got that whole DIY hispter cool factor.
Park was caught with 435 grams of gear, enough to sell to 8,700 people. He’d also been using USFK’s post system—which receives easier screenings by customs and is punished lighter for violations (or so says MBC)—to smuggle pot in.
Four months ago, a former GI was arrested for using USFK mail to smuggle in some new sort of drug.
A customs official at Incheon International Airport said with drug smuggling via USFK mail on the rise, USFK and the customs office were closely cooperating. Last year, Incheon Airport customs caught 2,800 grams of drugs being smuggled through USFK mail, over seven times the amount of the previous year.
A Korean guy went around to about 300 drugstores in the greater Seoul area to buy cold medicine, from which an Australian cook extracted the materials he needed to cook meth in a lab set up in a factory building in an industrial area of Incheon.
They’d produced about 33 billion won of product (10 kg). Which, if I’ve got my numbers right, is about US$29 million. Which really does seem like Walter White territory.
Judging from the news reports, a lot of this product was being moved to Australia—because of Korea’s relatively drug-free reputation, mules coming in on flights from Korea apparently have an easier time slipping by Hojustani customs. In fact, this case was broken open when an Australian drug mule got busted at Incheon with a shit load of meth wrapped around his body.
Police have so far arrested a Korean and Australian and are looking for three other Australians. They’ve also let the Australian police know who they are looking for.
I’d also like to say Solbi‘s role in all this, while regrettable, is easily forgiven because she’s hot. She doesn’t look like Jessica Alba, though, unless by Jessica Alba, you mean “charmingly plump Korean girl with a great rack,” in which case yes, she looks exactly like Jessica Alba.
They were the only two on the elevator at the time.
Frightened, she tried to hit the emergency bell, but the GI grabbed her wrist to stop her. He then ran off. Or so it is alleged.
The whole incident took 10 seconds.
Fortunately, police were able to use the CCTV footage to identify the (allegedly) pervy perp. When questioned by the cops, he strongly denied the charges, but when confronted with the CCTV footage, he exercised his right to silence. Or so it be reported.
After questioning, he was handed over to the American MPs. Police will continue to investigate.
According to the cops, the suspect—identified as Mr. J (48)—nearly hit the car of a one Mr. Choe (42) on the road near Oseong IC.
J stopped his car and got into an argument with Choe. Unable to control his anger, J got out of his car, took out a fishing knife from his trunk, and waved it several times at Choe through the half-open passenger-side window, curing as he did so.
Feeling threatened, Choe tried to pull away, but J gave chase, scratching Choe’s car with his knife twice.
Choe then got out of his car, picked up a rock and protested, “What’s your problem? I’m a Korean cop.” At which point J fled.
Or so it has been “confirmed,” says Yonhap, quoting mostly from the police.
Choe called the cops, and J was stopped by police 15 minutes later. The police say J did not resist arrest and confessed everything.
During the investigation, J testified that he had felt endangered when Choe’s car came at him from the opposite direction as he tried to make a U-turn on the left-turn light. Police plan to use the cars’ blackboxes and nearby CCTV footage to determine who did what and hand out fines.
A USFK contractor, J reportedly served in the US military for 16 years.
As he falls under the SOFA, he was turned over to US MPs after the arrest.
Interestingly enough, J’s family are complaining that J was treated unfairly during the investigation on account of his US citizenship.
In a phone call with Yonhap, J’s wife claimed he was being treated like a criminal because of anti-Americanism and that the cops only listened to Choe’s side of the story and didn’t ask her husband a single thing at the station.
She also said it was Choe who started the whole thing by nearly killing her husband by running the light, and that it was Choe who threatened her husband with a rock as he lie on the ground, haven fallen when Choe suddenly pulled away as J was holding the passenger seat side of Choe’s car.
It’s all so unfair, she said.
Luckily, we have some video footage of the incident, courtesy Dong-A TV.
Would love to see the entire footage to get a better idea of what happened. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if both sides are at fault, nor would it surprise me that after BB and the Gang, the KNP isn’t being especially courteous to USFK personnel who get arrested. Oh, and is Choe really a cop? If not, is claiming to be a cop illegal?
Then again, the cops say he admitted everything (and in the video, he does say he pulled out a knife), and it wouldn’t surprise me if J’s wife is just playing the police bigotry card.
Either way, though, can somebody explain to me why ANYONE attached to USFK would be pulling out a knife on a Korean civilian NOW? Is USFK aiming for some sort of political Darwin Award?
And in other fun USFK-related news, it has been learned that some of the seven American MPs involved in last year’s incident in which three Korean civilians were handcuffed near a US base in Pyeongtaek left Korea between late last year and recently. Prosecutors allowed the GIs to leave after getting from the US military written confirmations and guarantees that the suspects would appear for questioning whenever prosecutors asked, but it’s unlikely to make many people happy and controversy is expected.
- The Hani reports that the female soldier, a 22-year-old corporal, testified to the cops that she is the one who shot the BBs in Itaewon. She said she did so for fun. The guy who owned the car, the staff sergeant, apparently carried in his car three BB guns, which were purchased in Itaewon last year. Anyway, there is now suspicion that the three may have regularly shot BBs at locals for fun. The cops think the other two shot BBs that evening, too, but they deny it so far. And yeah, the two corporals are saying the staff sergeant was the driver, and the staff sergeant is saying the corporal who got shot was driving.
- MBC ran an interview with a HUFS professor to discuss the SOFA. As expected, he complained that the Korea—US SOFA is not as favorable to Korea as America’s SOFA agreements with Japan and NATO countries—he cites that other SOFAs make it easier for local cops to take possession of suspects that flee onto US bases, and the SOFA with Japan allows cops to interrogate suspects even without the presence of a US military official. However, the professor also noted that the Korea—US SOFA includes “excessive privileged” for defendants, including protections against prosecutors appealing acquittals. It’s a longish interview that probably deserves a fuller summary, but I think that point is important because I can’t see any way USFK allows its men to be subject to double jeopardy. Making it easier for the Korean cops to take possession and detain GI suspects is another matter, though, and frankly, I’d have no problem even allowing Korean cops the right to ‘hot pursuit.”
- And indeed, Korean government officials are now saying they will begin discussions with the United States, possibly from the end of this month, to revise the SOFA to make it easier for Korean police to detain GI suspects and expanding the number of crimes subject to transfer at indictment. They Koreans also want to reduce the scope of what constitutes USFK’s “execution of duties,” mostly because of last year’s incident in Osan in which USFK MPs handcuffed local civilians. That matter is being delayed because the MPs are claiming this happened while they were on duty, giving USFK primary jurisdiction.
The other cretin, a one Pvt. Dixon, has yet to be questioned as he’s still in the hospital with a gun shot wound to the shoulder.
If it’s shown that they did fire BB guns at civilians, they could face additional charges.
KBS also notes the rising GI crime rate. In recent years, GIs have been responsible for over 300 crimes a year, of which only 6% result in indictments. Most are given non-prosecution dispositions, and because of this, GI crimes sometimes ignite anti-American feelings. KBS notes that SOFA rules make it difficult for Korean cops to secure GIs accused of crimes when they fail to arrest them in the act. The broadcaster also notes that many point to the light punishments handed out to GIs who commit crimes and poor measures to prevent recurrences as the reasons for continuing GI crimes, and the answer is to revise the SOFA.
OK, I’m going to be honest here. There are things both sides could do to keep crime down—the stricter pre-2008 nighttime curfew seemed to reduce crime rates, and judging from some of the crime reports I see, I wonder if USFK is doing enough to instill in its men and women a sense of respect for the locals. Come on guys, 300 crimes a year? Sure, a lot of it is small stuff (hence the non-prosecution dispositions), but even little shit adds up.
You’ll never reduce the crime rate to zero in a population of 25,000 with lots of young men, however. The poor, stupid and criminally psychotic will always be with us.
To sum up the important part, yes, we know that since 2002, USFK has been working hard to contain incidents, quickly apologizing every time a GI does something criminal. GIs are still committing over 300 crimes a year, however—just last month, six GIs sexually harassed a young Korean women on the Uijeongbu tram, after which the base commander visited Uijeongbu to apologize and pledge that incidents like this would not happen again.
Over the last five years, GIs have committed about 2,200 crimes, but in only four of these did the Korean cops get to detain the suspects while they investigated. Because of the SOFA, it’s almost impossible for Korean cops to get GI suspects delivered unless they catch them in the act.
Ye Olde Chosun called on USFK to actively cooperate with the police investigation and use the opportunity to craft a plan to fundamentally reduce the amount of mischief committed by its men. If this doesn’t happen, Koreans will inevitably call for revisions to the SOFA no matter how much the American and Korean authorities explain the meaning and necessity of the agreement.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the Hani also ran an editorial on the incident. As expected, they note that because of the SOFA, the Korean side is unable to conduct proper investigations—even the 2001 revision merely allowed Korean cops to take possession of a suspect from the point of indictment instead after the trial… and for just 12 kinds of crimes at that. Anyway, the Hani’s tired of the constant apologies followed by slaps on the wrist.
My personal favorite editorial on the matter was courtesy the Dong-A Ilbo, which opened right away by noting that this incident was brought about because American GIs hold Korean cops in contempt—the GIs in question know full well if they’d pulled this stunt in the United States the cops would have shot to kill.
The Dong-A was also unhappy about USFK asking the Korean cops to delay their questioning of the driver because he’s on painkillers, which they regard as less-than-enthusiastic cooperation with the Korean cops. They probably offer the best advice out of all the papers—US military authorities need to beef up their training on off-base activities and instill a sense of respect for Korean law and the Korean authorities.
Now, I’m no USFK authority, but I’m doing what I can in a private capacity to bolster the American fighting man’s respect for Korean law:
Would the 미군 please stop 난동ing. Thank you for your cooperation.
One U.S. soldier admitted Monday that he and two colleagues shot a Korean civilian with a BB gun, hit a policeman with a car and ran away on a rampage in Itaewon on Saturday night, police said.
A second suspect identified by police by her first name “Wendy” appeared at the station at 6:00 p.m. Police said that they suspect the 21-year-old corporal shot the BB gun at a Korean citizen surnamed Ahn based on testimony by Ahn and other police officers who approached them.
An American soldier was in stable condition Sunday after being shot by South Korean authorities during a late-night car chase, police said Sunday.
According to Seoul’s Yongsan Police Station, police received calls shortly before midnight Saturday that two American soldiers, including the injured, were threatening civilians with an air gun in the multicultural district of Itaewon.
The two U.S. soldiers were approached by Seoul police near Itaewon Station, but they refused to identify themselves and fled in a vehicle, leading to the car chase through the capital city.
When they came to a dead end in southeastern Seoul, police fired off a warning shot and three rounds of bullets as the vehicle tried to rush through police officers despite warnings. The car’s driver was hit by one of the bullets and another officer was slightly injured in the process, according to police.
BB guns, high-speed chases, running down police officers… I’d say that’s a pretty full night on Freedom’s Frontier.
UPDATE 3: The woman in the car is reportedly the wife of the staff sergeant. When you think about it, causing mayhem in the heart of a foreign capital is a rather adorable couple thing to do. I just hope they were wearing couple shirts when they did it.
The couple, BTW, will be appearing at Yongsan Police Station for questioning today. The private who was driving the car—a.k.a. the guy who got shot—is unable to appear for question due to his shoulder wound. When this braintrust made it back to base, they apparently told US military authorities that an Arab gunman had shot the one guy and stole their car.
No word yet on whether they were drunk, high, sociopathic or just criminally stupid.
So, to reiterate: a foreign army is occupying the middle of the city, and some of them are dumbasses who were threatening civilians with guns, engaged in a late night car chase, tried to kill a police man and got away with only injuring him in the process. And Koreans cannot do anything about it unless USFK voluntarily turns the soldiers over, and good luck getting that to happen.
Try putting the shoe on the other foot here, and imagine something like this happening, say, in the middle of Manhattan around once a month. How fast do you think somebody in America to say, “fuck these people”? How long do you think it would take before a celebrity singer, who lets his emotion run high and does not quite think things through, makes a song about killing them?
Nothing you haven’t seen before, although it does got some cool footage of a rumble between a Russian and a Mongolian in a sauna near Dongdaemun’s Little Mongolia.
Also on the foreigner crime front, Incheon Immigration officials have announced that a Pakistani who was deported in 1999 after he sexually assaulted a young Korean woman while residing here illegally has been rearrested in Seoul posing as a businessman. Despite a reentry ban, he’d reentered Korea on a laundered identity.
The Pakistani in question was given a suspended sentence and subsequently deported for molesting a 23-year-old woman who was playing the the waters off Busan’s Haeundae Beach. He apparently dragged her out to the deep water and assaulted her after rendering her unable to resist.
So, how’s the month long “strengthening of public order in areas with lots of foreigners” campaign going? Well, not bad, according to Yonhap. The campaign—conducted in six areas—has netted 464 arrests, with 29 being confined and 435 booked without confinement.
Some 40.1% of the arrests were for simple assault, followed by 16.2% for gambling.
The cops netted 62 on immigration law crimes. They also got some really bad dudes, too, including four muggers, three rapists and eight on drug offenses.
On a positive note, the Chosun Ilbo’s business paper reports that for Korea’s major telecom firms, foreigners have gone from being a problem to being a golden egg. Not so long ago, these companies looked at the foreigner market as something they didn’t really want but didn’t want to completely abandon, either. This was because the phones were often used by foreigners to commit crimes and many foreigners left the country without paying their bills. But with the local market now flooded, telecom companies now see resident foreigners as a way out.
In fact—and jot this down, because it’ll be on the test—not only did Mongolians, Americans, Canadians and Russians have higher rates of criminality than your average foreigner, but their rates of criminality were higher than that of Koreans.
According to the study, entitled “Research into Crime and Public Safety in Areas with a High Concentration of Foreigners,” the Mongolian community had 7,064 criminals per 100,000 Mongolians in 2011, followed by the American community (6,756 per 100,000), Canadians (4,124 per 100,000) and Russians (3,785 per 100,000). These rates were higher than both the general foreigner rate of criminality of 2,763 per 100,000 and the Korean rate of criminality of 3,692 per 100,000.
This is why I never invite people to our home—between my wife and me, it’s virtually Detroit in there.
Interestingly, criminals of European descent (i.e., honkies) had higher rates of physical crimes like assaults, while criminals of Asian descent had higher rates of “smart crimes” like fraud. According to the Herald Gyeongje, this ran counter to the commonly held belief that crimes by Asian criminals were more brutal and dangerous.
It does, however, support the commonly held belief that Asians are better at math. OK, I added that last part. You’ve got to give me some comedic leeway here.
Anyway, Chinese—including Joseon-jok—had a criminality rate of just 2,921 per 100,000. Thais and Pakistanis had higher rates of criminality than the foreigner average, while Vietnamese, Filipinos and Indonesians had lower rates of criminality than the foreigner average.
By crime type, Americans were the most prone to violent crime (33.4%), followed by the Canadians (33.4%), Mongolians (27.3%—nice to see them breaking the Asian stereotype) and Russians (23.4%). Meanwhile, for “smart crimes” like fraud, the Taiwanese led the way with 45.5%, followed by the Bengalis (33.1%) and Chinese (30.3%).
The ratio of rapes to other crimes was highest for Pakistanis (3%), followed by Uzbeks (2.6%), Benalis (2.1%) and Americans (1.3%).
Marmot’s Note: No, I have no idea how they did their study. Ask Choi Yeong-sik at the KIC.
UPDATE: I find the graph of arrests per 100,000 interesting, too:
The graph certainly begs the question, “Why have the Americans become so knavish since 2009?” Note that according to the graph, USFK members and their dependents are included in the American total.