Wife Jung Says Threatened by Loan Sharks
By Park Si-soo
Police said Tuesday they were reopening their investigation into the death of actor Ahn Jae-hwan following the receipt of new information about his circumstances. Ahn was found dead in an apparent suicide a month ago. The announcement comes a day after his wife said she had been threatened before his death by loan sharks who allegedly kidnapped Ahn.
Investigators have confirmed following his death that the late actor borrowed billions of won from private moneylenders but had failed to pay back the debt on time due to business failures.
Ahn's wife Jung Sun-hee, a popular comedian, said in an interview with a weekly news magazine SisaIN that she had received threatening phone calls from loan sharks and her husband became harder to contact. Jung had remained silent following his death.
``A caller, presumably a loan shark, told me that he was with Ahn and would disclose Ahn's default to the media,'' the magazine quoted Jung as saying. ``I had no idea prior to the call that my husband was in debt. Later, Ahn's friend told me that he had borrowed more than three billion won from private moneylenders.''
Nowon Police Station, which has dealt with the case, said, ``We will consider reinvestigating the case since the report is completely different from what we learnt through our investigation.''
``During police questioning, Jung testified she was not aware of Ahn's debt and never received a threatening call. But in the report, she contradicted her previous testimony,'' a police officer said. ``As of now, however, we have no plan to re-summon her for questioning.''
Meanwhile, Jung denied online accusations claiming that Ahn was driven to suicide because the late actress Choi Jin-sil pressed him to repay a two billion won ($2 million) loan. Choi was found dead in her apartment on Oct. 2 in what police later concluded was also a suicide.
``Choi never kept in touch with my husband and never lent him any money,'' the magazine quoted Jung as saying.