South Korean alleged to have absconded with $50,000
March 21 - 27, 2011
A YANGON construction company has pressed charges against a young South Korean restaurant manager-cum-agent to the stars who allegedly absconded with US$50,000 – an initial payment for bringing two South Korean film stars to Myanmar for a promotional event.
Taw Win Family Construction chairman U Ko Ko Htwe filed the complaint to Sanchaung township police on March 3, alleging Mr Kim Seuk Hum, also known as Mickey Kim, caught a flight to Bangkok on February 17 and his whereabouts – and the location of the $50,000 – are now unknown.
U Ko Ko Htwe told police he signed an agreement with Mr Kim, 29, on February 2 to bring actor Kim Jun and actress Kim Soe Eun to Myanmar for the opening of Taw Win Centre, which is owned by Taw Win Family Construction. Located on Pyay Road in Dagon township, Taw Win Centre opened on February 6.
Negotiations began in December, shortly after the South Korean embassy in Yangon brought out two film stars for the South Korean Film Festival.
“[Mr Kim] was working as general manager of The Seoul restaurant on the ground floor of Traders Hotel. I met him with another two [South] Korean men last december in my office. In early February we made an agreement to invite the [South] Korean stars for a promotion at Taw Win Centre,” U Ko Ko Htwe told The Myanmar Times on March 15.
The other two men present at the initial meeting on December 28 were film producer Mr Byun Bong Hyun, who travelled to Myanmar for the film festival, and Mr Dean Hun, who was accompanying Mr Byun and is a “freelance security and driver”, according to his business card. The two men are not thought to have been involved in the alleged theft, police say.
According to the police report, known as a First Information Report, Mr Kim told U Ko Ko Htwe that he would depart for the South Korean capital Seoul on February 3 and return on February 7. The film stars would then appear for a one-day promotional event, to be held either on February 11, 18 or 26, shortly after Taw Win Centre’s official opening.
Kim Jun was to be paid $35,000, Ko So Eun $25,000 and Mr Kim a $6000 “agent fee”. U Ko Ko Htwe was also expected to pay for return air tickets from Seoul to Yangon, accommodation at Traders Hotel and other “management” costs.
“The total cost was expected to be $100,000 but we made an agreement to pay half in advance, that’s why I gave him $50,000 on February 2. But then he disappeared on February 17,” U Ko Ko Htwe said.
“I have informed the embassy about it and they said they will look into the matter and inform the [South Korean] Ministry of Foreign Affair in Seoul about the case,” U Ko Ko Htwe said.
Police have charged Mr Kim with fraud under section 420 of the Penal Code.
The South Korean embassy in Yangon declined to comment last week.
A spokesperson for The Seoul restaurant said Mr Kim had worked as general manager there for nine months before disappearing at the end of January. “We haven’t seen him since then,” the spokesperson said.