When a 62-year-old woman, identified as Kang, was agonizing over where to invest the money she had inherited from her dead husband, she met a man surnamed Ryu who introduced himself as a secretary general of a Buddhist sect in western Seoul in April 2009.
Ryu told Kang that he would take over a project to build a temple charnel house and an Oriental medicine clinic in Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province from a welfare foundation for 9 billion won (about 9 million U.S. dollars). Then, asked her to lend him 300 million won (300,000 dollars), offering in return to give her a 10 percent stake in the facilities and repay with 1 billion won (1 million dollars) in five months. Kang readily lent him the money, thinking that she was helping a social contribution project by a religious organization.
However, Ryu just ran away with the money. He turned out to be a fake monk who was expelled from a Buddhist sect for criminal acts including fraud.
The Gangdong Police Station in Seoul said Thursday that it arrested Ryu on fraud charges. At the time of his arrest, Ryu had rented Audi A6 and was staying at a motel in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province with a woman.