S.Korea indicts 42 people on charges of avoiding mandatory military service

International |  IANS  | Published : Thu, Feb 09, 2023, 01:18 PM

Seoul, Feb 9 (IANS) A total of 42 people in South Korea were indicted on Thursday on charges of intentionally avoiding mandatory military service by posing as epilepsy patients, prosecutors said.

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office also indicted five others, including a 47-year-old military broker, for allegedly helping them, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The broker is under suspicion of providing tailored advice to his clients on ways to fake symptoms of epilepsy that would eventually disqualify them from their duties between February 2020 and October 2022, they said.

The military dodgers allegedly faked various symptoms of epilepsy during hospital visits and later submitted fabricated certificates to authorities, the prosecutors said.

After deemed unfit to serve as soldiers due to health issues, they were either exempted from the duty or served as social service agents as an alternative form of service.

Among the alleged dodgers are professional athletes in the fields of volleyball, football and horse riding, as well as an actor, prosecutors said.

The prosecution office said it has also indicted family members and an acquaintance of the alleged dodgers on charges of paying consulting fees or giving false testimony about epilepsy symptoms.

All able-bodied Korean men are obliged to serve in the Army for 18 months, the Navy for 20 months or the Air Force for 21 months.

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