Woman arrested in South Korea after bodies found in New Zealand

Woman arrested in South Korea after bodies found in New Zealand
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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A woman in South Korea was arrested Thursday on two counts of murder in New Zealand, where the bodies of two long-dead children were found last month in abandoned suitcases, authorities said.

Authorities did not immediately say if the 42-year-old suspect was the mother of the dead children. The New Zealand Police had told his South Korean counterparts that the mother could be living in South Korea.

South Korean police detained the woman in the southeastern port city of Ulsan on the basis of a South Korean court order issued after New Zealand requested her provisional arrest as part of an extradition process, according to the report. National Police Agency and the Ministry of Justice of South Korea.

The unidentified woman covered her face with the hood of her coat as officers escorted her out of an Ulsan police station and into a car headed for the capital Seoul, where she was expected to be questioned by police. tax.

New Zealand authorities must submit a formal request for his extradition to the South Korean Ministry of Justice within 45 days. The ministry will then decide whether to proceed with an extradition review at the Seoul High Court to decide whether she will be sent to New Zealand.

New Zealand police said the South Korean arrest warrant was linked to two counts of murder and called on South Korean authorities to keep the woman in jail until she is extradited.

“Having someone in overseas custody in such a short time is due to the assistance of the Korean authorities and the coordination of our New Zealand Police Interpol staff,” Detective Inspector Tofilau Fa’amanuia Vaaelua said in a statement. .

He said the investigation had been “very challenging” and investigations were continuing both in New Zealand and abroad.

Vaaelua said the police were not going to comment further as the matter was now before the courts. New Zealand authorities do not normally comment on pending court cases to avoid the possibility of influencing the outcome.

The children’s bodies were discovered last month after a New Zealand family bought abandoned items, including two suitcases, in a storage unit in Auckland at an online auction. Police said the New Zealand family had nothing to do with the deaths.

The children were between 5 and 10 years old, had been dead for several years, and the suitcases had been in storage for at least three to four years, according to police.

South Korean police say the woman was born in South Korea and later moved to New Zealand, where she obtained citizenship. She returned to South Korea in 2018, according to immigration records.

South Korean police say she was suspected to be the mother of the two victims, as her previous address in New Zealand was registered in the storage unit where the suitcases were kept for years.


Perry reported from Wellington, New Zealand.

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