Pacific edition, Wednesday, July 18, 2007

SEOUL — Four AAFES employees are on “enforced leave” as officials investigate black-market schemes at two U.S. bases, an Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman confirmed Monday.

Two police blotter entries in recent editions of a U.S. military weekly newspaper detailed the cases.

AAFES spokesman Master Sgt. Donovan Potter declined to name any of the employees but confirmed they are all South Korean.

According to the blotter, an April audit of the Camp Walker shoppette showed about $3,800 in missing beer. The blotter stated an employee admitted being aware that the property was missing, but denied any wrongdoing. The shoppette manager “failed to notice the loss of the property,” according to the blotter.

The Camp Walker shoppette manager is on leave pending the ongoing investigation, Potter said, and no employee has been disciplined or fired in connection with the incident.

And a July 6 blotter entry stated that two people transferred duty-free goods purchased from an AAFES store on Camp Carroll to an unknown party.

One of the two, a woman, also is accused of acquiring AAFES property without paying for it. According to the blotter, she was assisted by an unknown AAFES employee.

Potter said three AAFES employees are on leave in connection with the Camp Carroll investigation.

He said the estimated loss value in that incident is $300.

Potter also confirmed that two South Korean employees who were found guilty last month of a massive black-market scheme no longer work for AAFES.

Yu Jung-yeol was sentenced June 7 to two years in prison and was ordered to pay about $750,000. Potter said Yu stopped working with AAFES on March 24. He didn’t elaborate on Yu’s departure from AAFES.

Yu Gwang-ok was sentenced the same day to 18 months in prison, suspended for three years. He must pay the court about $683,000. Potter said the man left AAFES’ employment on March 26 but provided no additional details.

Seoul District Court officials said both men worked for AAFES at Camp Market.

They said the men are appealing the sentences.

The case came to light in late March, when South Korean police announced they were investigating 18 people, including two Americans from the base and two South Korean AAFES workers.

Police said the group moved about 25,000 cases of beer and about 633 tons of expired food products from the AAFES shelves into the off-base black market.

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