North Korea map
North Korea map

SEOUL - A senior South Korean prosecutor has been arrested for allegedly pocketing millions of dollars following shady stock transaction deals with a leading online game maker, officials said Monday.

Jin Kyung-joon, a vice ministerial-level official, was arrested and put to a detention facility on Sunday, according to the Justice Ministry. He is the most senior-level incumbent prosecutor to be arrested in the country.

South Korea, a vibrant, liberal democracy, is one of the leading economies in Asia, but corruption scandals involving high-profile officials, politicians and businessmen still routinely take place.

Many South Korean presidents or their family members and key aides have been embroiled in corruption scandals at the close of their terms or after leaving office. Some high-level prosecutors were forced to resign before they were arrested and put behind bars for bribery, abuse of power and other charges.

Last year, then-Prime Minster Lee Wan Koo pledged to root out corruption, but only to resign a month later after he was implicated in a widening bribery scandal that involved a businessmen who killed himself.

Jin faces allegations that he borrowed 400 million won ($352,000) from Kim Jung-ju, the founder of Nexon (Korea) to buy unlisted company shares in 2005 before selling them back to the company for 1 billion won ($881,000) the following year.

He then allegedly bought shares of Nexon Japan, worth 1 billion won ($881,000), before selling them for 12.6 billion won ($11 million) last year, four years after the company was listed on the stock market.

Jin and Kim, who attended a Seoul university together, had reportedly maintained good relations. South Korean media reports said Kim was believed to have expected to get future favors from Jin.

Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong on Sunday apologized for the scandal.