Korean embassy in India hit by property rental scam
NEW DELHI (Yonhap) -- The Korean embassy in New Delhi has been hit by a property rental scam, and is facing losses of 120 million won ($102,739), embassy officials said Thursday.
The Korean embassy signed a contract last December with an Indian owner of a four-story building in New Delhi to rent the building that would be used as the embassy's culture center.
After paying the money by check, embassy officials found that the building was already rented out by another tenant. On paper, however, the building had no renter at the time the contract was signed, officials said.
The embassy canceled the contract and requested the Indian owner to return the money, but the owner refused to do so. Embassy officials said they reported the case to local police last month.
An embassy official accused the Indian owner of signing a bogus contract.
"While trying to have the money returned, we are preparing to lease another building to open the culture center within this year," the official said on the condition of anonymity.
In January 2010, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks in New Delhi and agreed to open the Korean culture center here.