Probe on Korean lending firm in RP urged

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — HERE’s another classic example of how some Korean nationals posing as legitimate businessmen in our country deceive not only fellow Koreans but even the government.

The scheme was uncovered in a civil case filed before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court wherein the plaintiff and the defendants involved were all Koreans.

Plaintiff Jung Ku Lee of Unit 2804, Renaissance 1000, Ortigas, Pasig City, is asking the court to order the immediate rescission of the loan repayment agreement he entered into with defendants named as Sang Soon Lee and Won Sig Hwang, both of Unit 20-A, Wynsum Corporate Plaza, 22 Emerald Avenue in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

Lee is also requesting the court to declare null and void the deed of assignment which he executed in favor of another defendant — the OFT Lending Inc., a corporation organized by the defendants with office address at 3BB Building, 79 Kamuning Road, Quezon City. He also asked the court to order the defendants to refrain from exercising acts of ownership over some 200 million worth of shares from his company as a result of his alleged loan that never materialized.

Lee said the case began in 2007 when a friend introduced Won Sig Hwang to him as an expert in securities and exchange. The interpreter, who asked not to be named, said that Hwang has even bragged of having lots of business partners who can invest anywhere in the world in the amount of trillions of Korean won.

The complainant invited Hwang to join his company — the Running Mate Inc. (RMI), an electronic gaming corporation which he said offers more than 10 percent return on investment profit per year to all its local and foreign investors.

Negotiations went on until Hwang eventually acquired the firm’s 60 percent shares of stock. And as promised, Hwang loaned to RMI an amount of U.S.$500,000 with two percent monthly interest.

Their partnership went high until an opportunity to invest in listed companies came up. They set their sights on the consolidation of Premiere Entertainment Philippines (PEP), a domestic corporation prominent in the entertainment industry, and the Digiwave Corporation, engaged in the electronic gaming business.

Hwang later changed his mind and instead proposed a loan agreement amounting to 1.7 billion Korean won (P60 million) with terms requiring Lee to pay a flat interest rate of 50 percent per year and an offering of the 40 percent shares of stock of RMI and 20 percent shares of Digiwave as collateral or security for the loan. Lee agreed.

When the time to infuse the necessary funds for the consolidation has finally arrived, Hwang could not be located or reached, thus placing the supposed loan agreement in mid-air. It took sometime for Lee to be able to locate Hwang and talk to the latter personally.

At this point, Hwang laid another term for the said loan — the collaterals are to be assigned to the OFT Lending Inc., the company controlled by the defendants.