Two senior South Korean police officers were arrested on Monday for their roles in last October’s Halloween drama in the capital Seoul, in which 158 people have died as a result of oppression. The former officers allegedly withheld information.
According to the warrants, both officers were involved in the deletion of an internal intelligence report, which warned of possible incidents around Halloween. The agents probably tried to cover up the inaction of the police, writes the South Korean news agency Yohap.
These are the first arrests of the affair for which the police chief, the mayor of Seoul and the interior minister apologized, among others. Authorities have previously admitted that the response to warnings has been lax.
The investigation team wanted to arrest even more people, but the court refused to issue the required arrest warrants for a former police chief and a former policeman who reportedly informed his boss too late. According to the judge, they are probably not involved in the attempts to destroy the evidence.
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Another officer involved was found dead
Last month, a police officer being investigated in connection with the drama was found dead. He worked at the police station who oversaw the entertainment area where the drama unfolded and is said to have ordered an intelligence report with warnings to go missing.
More than 100,000 people had gathered in the area on Oct. 29 for the first Halloween celebration since the coronavirus pandemic. Local authorities and the police had not taken any measures for such a large crowd.
Hours before the disaster, eleven emergency calls about dangerous crowds had been received, but no significant action was taken. The people who died in the tribulation were mostly young women, a number of teenagers, and more than two dozen foreigners.