Setsuri cult leader wanted on rape charges under arrest in China

(Kyodo) — Chinese public security authorities have arrested the leader of a South Korea-originated cult who is on a wanted list for alleged rape, South Korea’s Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

The 62-year-old man under arrest in China has been confirmed as Jung Myung Seok, founder of the group JMS and the leader of a Japanese arm of the cult called “Setsuri,” or Providence, the ministry said in a statement.

Jung was arrested in Beijing on May 1 and is being interrogated by public security authorities in Anshan, Liaoning Province, northeast of Beijing, it said.

“The Justice Ministry will seek an early extradition of Jung in cooperation with related Chinese authorities,” the statement said.

In Beijing, China’s Public Security Ministry said in a separate statement that police have captured a man believed to be Jung.

The case “will be dealt with appropriately” in accordance with Chinese laws and a China-South Korea extradition treaty once his identity is confirmed, the statement said.

Jung is also suspected of involvement in criminal cases in China, and Chinese police have opened investigations on them, the statement said without elaboration.

Jung allegedly sexually assaulted several women and South Korean authorities put him on an international wanted list.

In January, Japanese police raided facilities connected to the Setsuri cult in the city of Chiba near Tokyo on suspicion that a senior member, a South Korean woman, obtained her resident status illegally.

It is believed Setsuri was established in South Korea around 1980 and became active in Japan around 1987.

There are reportedly more than 2,000 followers of the cult in Japan.

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