According to The Korean Herald online newspaper, they had already been jailed for six months for fraud. But the prosecutors added a charge of perjury, which led the court to additionally hand down the suspended six-month prison term.
The 28-year-old man from Liberia and 32-year-old woman from Russia, who were in a relationship, conspired with a Ukrainian woman to swindle a Korean man via social media.
The Ukrainian woman first seduced the Korean man with her photo on a social network site in February last year. She pretended to be stuck in Ukraine and claimed she was trying to escape to Korea with her sister. She said that her parents had been killed by rebel army in a civil war in her homeland.
She asked the man to lend his name and personal information to her so that she could issue a cashier’s check to receive $6 million in inheritance left by her deceased parents.
The Korean man sent her a photo copy of his driver’s license.
She then asked the man to meet with the Russian and Liberian in Seoul to help her leave Ukraine.
The Liberian, who posed as a broker, threatened the Korean, asking for $30,000 to rescue the Ukrainian. The Russian woman, who pretended to be the Ukrainian’s aunt, urged the Korean man to pay the broker the ransom.
The fraud case eventually came to light after the Korean man, frightened by the fact that his lover was being held hostage, reported the case to the police.
The court handed down a six-month prison term to both the Russian and Liberian, saying that they had exploited the man’s compassion and his interest in foreigners to extract money.
With additional evidence indicating that they had committed perjury, they were sentenced to four more months in jail, suspended for a year, according to the court.