Police Raid Korea Aerospace Facility in Connection with Indonesian Espionage Case

Two Indonesian workers allegedly tried to smuggle out date pertaining to the KF-21 project
  • Defensemirror.com Bureau
  • 07:43 AM, March 16, 2024
  • 1285
Police Raid Korea Aerospace Facility in Connection with Indonesian Espionage Case
KF-21 manufacturing facility of Korea Aerospace Industries

Korean Police raided Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) facilities yesterday as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt by Indonesian engineers to steal data on Korean KF-21 fighter jets.

This follows a joint investigation by the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), the Forces Counter-intelligence Command and the National Intelligence Service which requested police support for the investigation of Indonesian engineers allegedly trying to smuggle out USB devices containing data on the KF-21.

“The Gyeongnam Provincial Police Agency’s Security Investigation Department sent around 10 investigators to the KAI headquarters in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang, around 9 a.m. on Friday to secure related data from the work computers of two Indonesian engineers involved in the KF-21 project.,” the Joongang Daily reported quoting local media and its own sources. In addition,the home of one of the two Indonesian engineers was also raided..

As the investigation is ongoing, we cannot provide any information other than that the investigation is being conducted on suspicion of violating the Defense Acquisition Program Act,” a police official was quoted as saying to the local press.

The two engineers were first caught on Jan. 17 trying to smuggle a USB drive from the KAI facility  containing data pertaining to the KF-21 project. They are currently prohibited from leaving Korea.

A government joint investigation team consisting of DAPA, the Defense Forces Counter-intelligence Command and the National Intelligence Service first conducted an internal probe before requesting the police to investigate the case on Feb. 22.

Police Raid Korea Aerospace Facility in Connection with Indonesian Espionage Case
Indonesian defence minister Prabowo meeting South Korean Ambassador Lee Sang-Deok

There has been no official response from Indonesia to the espionage allegations and also to South Korean reports that it has fallen behind its milestone payments as part of its participation in the KF-21 project.

Interestingly, the South Korean Ambassador to Jakarta called on Indonesian defence minister Prabowo on March 6 in which “the Minister of Defense expressed his deepest appreciation for South Korea's invaluable contribution to Indonesia's joint defense project,” a statement from the Indonesian MoD said on March 7.

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