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Fugitive facing W3b fraud charges extradited from Kuwait after 12 years

By Yonhap

Published : April 18, 2024 - 10:45

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A man in custody arrives at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul on Wednesday. (National Police Agency) A man in custody arrives at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul on Wednesday. (National Police Agency)

A South Korean man has been extradited home from Kuwait this week, 12 years after he fled to the Middle Eastern nation to avoid arrest on charges of fraud amounting to some 3 billion won ($2.17 million), officials said Thursday.

The suspect, 58, was brought home through Incheon International Airport on Wednesday afternoon to face charges that he defrauded the victim after fabricating a company document ordering construction materials in May 2011, according to police.

After he fled to Kuwait in September the following year, police issued an Interpol red notice for him and began tracking him down together with local police in Kuwait.

The local police, who had been tracing the suspect's whereabouts through clues provided by South Korean police, found the hideout of the suspect at the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorate on March 27 and nabbed the suspect on his way out.

The two countries agreed to hand over the suspect to South Korean police at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Thailand, as no direct flight was available between the two countries. The immigration bureau of Thailand also cooperated in coming up with safety measures during the stopover in Bangkok, officials said.

The suspect arrived at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"It is notable that cooperation among South Korea, Kuwait and Thailand led to the successful arrest and repatriation of a suspect who had fled overseas and laid low there," a National Police Agency official said. (Yonhap)