Gangnam Style

Embezzler had plastic surgery, but lure of Gangnam bars leads to his arrest

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 2:48am


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A South Korean man who embezzled US$4.3 million and had plastic surgery to evade capture has been arrested after a hostess-bar spending spree in Seoul's upmarket Gangnam district.

The 33-year-old was tracked down after two of his accomplices were arrested, police said.

The head of accounting at a semi-conductor manufacturer, the suspect transferred company funds to a series of secret bank accounts, police said.

Feigning a family emergency, he left the company in early January, withdrew much of the cash, and went on a 10-day binge in Gangnam, spending money on high-class hostess bars and buying a Mercedes-Benz.

He'd had a nose and eye job, and his face had changed drastically

Worried that he might be spotted, he went to the southern city of Gwangju, where he had extensive plastic surgery to assume a new identity.

He then returned to his high-spending ways at hostess bars, but police eventually caught up with him near Gwangju on Wednesday following a tip-off from his detained accomplices.

The suspect was "a totally different person" when he was taken into custody, a police spokeswoman in Asan, south of Seoul, said.

"He'd had a nose and eye job, and his face had changed drastically," the spokeswoman said.

The Gangnam district has gained worldwide fame from South Korean rapper Psy's Gangnam Style - a video parodying the excesses of the trendy Seoul area which became the first YouTube upload to break a billion views.