‘Koreans evaded physical verification by threatening suicide’

Seven police personnel suspended on charges of dereliction of duty

February 13, 2022 09:50 am | Updated 09:52 am IST - CHENNAI

The two South Korean nationals, Choi Yongsuk and Choe Jaewon, who escaped from police custody from a high-rise residential apartment at Orgadam, evaded physical verification by the police deployed on guard duty by threatening to kill themselves, police sources said on Saturday. While the Chengalpattu Superintendent of Police placed the seven police personnel on guard duty under suspension pending departmental inquiry, the police claimed that the suspects resisted physical verification every 8 hours and threatened to end their lives if the police “disturbed” them by knocking the door during every change in shift duty.

Forced entry

The police investigation has revealed that the duo scaled down from the 8th floor window to a lower floor with the help of drainage pipes and broke a glass door to gain entry into an empty flat. The locking system was such that through the main door was locked from outside, the two could open it from inside and walk through the lobby entrance.  On receipt of information that the two foreign nationals, arrested in connection with a multicrore GST evasion case, had conspired to escape with local support, the police doubled the number of staff on guard duty.

Security intensified

“We had deployed one sub-inspector and six others to keep a watch on them round-the-clock. Since the two Korean nationals were in police custody, there was no immediate need to arrest them. It was decided that they will be taken into custody after obtaining an arrest warrant from the court and a formal request for the same was processed,” a senior police official said and added that further proceedings were kept in abeyance after the Supreme Court, while passing orders on their bail plea, granted stay on their arrest till the disposal of the petition. After the police became aware that the accused had escaped, an alert was sent to the airport and major railway/bus stations along with their photographs. Security agencies in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata were informed of the escape of the suspects. A special team working under the direct supervision of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Chengalpattu, Adarsh Pachera, rushed to Bengaluru since the accused had planned to take a flight from there. Inspector of Police S. Elumalai was assigned the task of analysing the visuals of all passengers in the boarding area in Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports. “We found them in the Hyderabad airport taking a flight to Imphal. They (the fugitives) had some local support in Manipur. We issued a look out circular to facilitate the arrest of the two South Korean nationals in any airport in the country,” the official who requested not to be quoted said.

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