S. Korean four-star general arrested on embezzlement, bribery charges
SEOUL — South Korean military investigators have arrested the deputy chief of the Combined Forces Command on charges of embezzlement and bribery, Ministry of National Defense officials confirmed Monday.
Gen. Shin Il-soon, a South Korean four-star, serves as deputy to four-star Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, commander, United Nations Command, the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command, and U.S. Forces Korea.
Shin, 57, was arrested shortly before midnight Saturday after a day of questioning, officials said. He’s charged with embezzling $136,000 in South Korean military funds for his personal use since 1999, said ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Nam Dae-yeon.
According to Nam, a South Korean military high court issued an arrest warrant for Shin at abount 11:45 p.m. Saturday after reviewing a request from military prosecutors. Shin had been undergoing daily questioning by investigators since Thursday, officials said.
According to Nam, Shin is being allowed to carry out his major duties as deputy commander while being detained at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul. No replacement, either temporary of permanent, has been named, Nam said Monday.
Shin is the first active-duty South Korean general officer to be arrested on corruption charges since the Republic of Korea Army was formed in 1945, officials said.
Prosecutors say the military funds were misappropriated for entertainment costs, condolence money and gifts. According to South Korean media outlets, Shin has told investigators he believes he used the money in his broader role as commander and not for personal use.
Shin has worked on Yongsan Garrison since April 2003; before that, he served at ROK Army Headquarters.
The investigation began after anonymous tips from within South Korea’s military, officials said. Other South Korean military officials also are being investigated, Nam said.