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Ex-Gangsters Indicted for Blackmailing Movie Star

2007/02/06 | 236 views | Permalink | Source

A former gangster who was previously the manager of top movie star kwon Sang-woo and a former boss of a criminal ring have been indicted for blackmailing the star.

The prosecution said the former manager, identified only by his family name Paek, was a member of an organized crime ring before working as Kwon's manager for two years from May 2003.

Paek, 28, was arrested for threatening to reveal Kwon's shortcomings to the media if he did not sign another two-year contract with him.

Prosecutors also indicted Kim Tae-chon, former boss of "Sobang-pa", a criminal ring, on charges of trying to force Kwon to attend a function organized by his Japanese friend.

Kwon is one of South Korea's top hallyu or Korean wave stars in Japan and other Asian countries. He won fame in Japan by starring in "Stairway to Heaven", a South Korean television series.

According to the prosecution, Kim called Kwon several times to coerce him to "keep his promise" to attend a meeting with his Japanese fans, a lucrative event for the meeting's organizer.

Kim was arrested last November and remains in custody ahead of a trial for allegedly bribing officials.

Prosecutors have wrapped up their three-month probe into crime rings linked to local entertainers.

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