Fugitive ex-Daewoo CEO working in France

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, March 7 (AFP) - A former chief executive of South Korean group Daewoo, wanted under an Interpol arrest warrant for four years, has been working for the past 18 months for French transport firm Lohr, the CEO of Lohr told AFP Monday.

STRASBOURG, March 7 (AFP) - A former chief executive of South Korean group Daewoo, wanted under an Interpol arrest warrant for four years, has been working for the past 18 months for French transport firm Lohr, the CEO of Lohr told AFP Monday.

Ex-Daewoo CEO Kim Woo-Choong, the subject of an international arrest warrant since 2001, has been working as a consultant for Lohr, Robert Lohr, the founder and CEO of the Lohr firm, said.

He confirmed information reported Monday in the French daily Liberation.

"Mr. Kim has a consultancy contract with us. He is helping us find a South Korean industrial partner; he is paid normally," Lohr said.

Lohr said his company, the world's leading builder of car transporters, had benefited through Kim's efforts to strike contracts with several South Korean industrial companies for a possible partnership in the final assembly of tram cars.

He said he had met Kim on several occasions in recent years, in France as well as in other European countries, without knowing he was sought by international police.

He added that he believed Kim also went "fairly often to South Korea".

After the collapse of the Daewoo group in the late 1990s, South Korean authorities issued an arrest warrant, via Interpol, against Kim, alleging he had embezzled millions of dollars and organised one of the world's biggest corporate accounting frauds by overestimating the value of the company.

In 2001, seven former Daewoo executives were found guilty in the scandal and received as much as seven years imprisonment for embezzlement. Daewoo, formerly the second-largest South Korean conglomerate, went bankrupt in July 1999, with debt estimated at USD 80 billion (EUR 60.6 billion). Kim's whereabouts had been unknown since 2000.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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