Two ex-Seoul police officers arrested on allegation of destroying evidence related to Itaewon tragedy

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Itaewon tragedy
(Source : Twitter @farhankudosan)

Jakarta, IO – Two former South Korean police officers of the intelligence unit – Park Sung-min from the Seoul Metropolitan Government and Kim Jin-ho from the Yongsan Police – were arrested for allegedly tampering with evidence related to the Halloween crowd surge that killed 158 people in Itaewon, Seoul in October, reported Merdeka, Wednesday (7/12).

They were alleged to have ordered their subordinates to delete internal reports regarding risks that could arise from the massive crowds that gathered in Itaewon that night. They had been fired in November over their handling of the Itaewon incident.

After the Itaewon tragedy, a special police unit was formed to investigate what went wrong. Members of this special unit searched police stations and other relevant offices throughout Seoul, and collected internal police reports and documents about emergency calls.

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According to emergency call log, there were 11 calls to the police pleasing for crowd control, then rescue workers. The first call came about four hours before the deadly tragedy occurred, when crowds crammed into a narrow alley.

The city and national governments have faced barrage of public criticism and demand for accountability and the arrests of Park Sung-min and Kim Jin-ho may only be the beginning. (un)