Korean sex video scandal

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Telegram sex video case makes Samsung worried

Telegram sex video case makes Samsung worried

Posted : 2020-03-29 18:07

By Kim Se-jeong

An extortion scheme hatched by Cho Ju-bin, the mastermind behind a sex slavery and abuse ring, involving cable news channel JTBC CEO Sohn Seok-hee is causing worries for Samsung.

Cho contacted Sohn saying he and his family were in danger from Kim Woong, a reporter with whom Sohn had a legal fight. When he was asked for proof, Cho demanded money and Sohn paid him, although he never received any further communication from Cho. The CEO also said he decided not to contact the police and many journalists are wondering why.

One day later, Sohn explained that Cho claimed Kim had the support of Samsung and for that reason he was hesitant to call the police.

JTBC's largest shareholder is the JoongAng Group, a media group which used to be owned by Samsung. Former Chairman Hong Seok-hyun, in office between 2011 and 2017, is the brother-in-law of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

Samsung condemned Sohn immediately.

Speaking to Yonhap News Agency, a company official requesting anonymity said Sohn was damaging the company's brand image, questioning his real intentions. "It's not good that Samsung is mentioned in connection with a crime," another official was quoted as saying.

People are curious how Cho was able to contact the CEO of one the most influential media outlets.

Beside Sohn, Cho also contacted and extorted money from former Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-hyeon.

Police said Cho habitually boasted about his political connections in the Telegram chat room.

Cho was arrested for blackmailing women, including minors, to make sexually abusive videos which he sold access to in a Telegram chatroom called "Baksa," which means a doctorate holder in Korean.

Police believe the room had at least 1,000 members and suspect him of selling access to the videos in other chatrooms as well.

A local investigative journalism TV show reported Saturday that Cho grew up in an extremely poor family and had to pick up trash to support his family until he was a middle school student. Cho's acquaintances also said he was obsessed with money and willing to do anything to get it.

So far, police have identified 74 victims, including 16 minors, and apprehended 126 men, of whom 19 have been formally detained. The Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office is currently investigating the accusations against Cho. He is facing the investigation without the help of lawyers as his legal representatives all resigned suddenly last week.

His detention unleashed a wave of public anger among women in Korea, who pushed for his identity to be made public. Standing in front of camera flashes, Cho didn't look apologetic and thanked the police for "stopping the life of a devil."

President Moon Jae-in and politicians have demanded a thorough investigation and measures to prevent the occurrence of any similar crime. But many claim the main problem is a society that is too lenient on sexual criminals.

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