In the News – N. Korean defectors fall prey to financial pyramid scams

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In the News – N. Korean defectors fall prey to financial pyramid scams

SEOUL, May 18 (Yonhap) — The National Police Agency (NPA) on Friday alerted North Korean defectors to the dangers of financial pyramid scams touting investment in Chinese real estate.

The alert was issued after several tens of defectors from the North fell for the fraud after being lured to invest large sums of money in China’s property development projects for huge, quick profits, the NPA said.

In a typical case, the defectors were told to invest 30 million won (US$25,570) in Chinese real estate and receive 3 million won in dividends after a month. They were also asked to recruit new investors for additional allowance payments, said the NPA.

The agency noted that the defectors failing to attract at least 10 new investors were forced to forfeit their initial investments.

The South Korean government provides each defector with a subsidy of 6 million won in cash in an effort to help them better assimilate, while they can also receive up to 13 million won to finance their housing.

The scammers mobilized various methods to deceive the defector investors, including on-the-spot tours and the introduction of fake success stories, and refused to draw up contract papers, citing China’s domestic laws regulating foreign property investments.

The NPA said it has sent warning text messages to North Korean defectors here and will continue to educate them about various financial scams.

 

Original article can be found here.

In the News – U.S. House passes bill on N. Korean human rights

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In the News – U.S. House passes bill on N. Korean human rights

By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, May 15 (Yonhap) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday calling for bipartisan efforts to address North Korea’s human rights violations, according to a congressional source.

Members of the House approved by voice vote the legislation on extending until 2017 the authority of the North Korean Human Rights Act, added the source.

The act provides the legal ground for the U.S. government’s financial support for radio stations broadcasting to North Korea and the appointment of a special envoy on the North’s human rights issues.

The reauthorization bill notes that, “Although the transition to the leadership of Kim Jong-un after the death of Kim Jong-il has introduced new uncertainties and possibilities, the fundamental human rights and humanitarian conditions inside North Korea remains deplorable and North Korean refugees remain acutely vulnerable.”

It also urges China to immediately halt its forcible repatriation of North Koreans.

The Senate is also expected to approve the bill without a major dispute, the source said.

 

Original article can be found here.