Police investigate immigration official’s role in expulsion of Uzbek students

Uzbek students enrolled at a Korean language course at Hanshin University are on a bus heading to Incheon International Airport, Nov. 27. Courtesy of Uzbek students

An official at the Korea Immigration Service is under investigation for his alleged involvement in the forced repatriation of Uzbek students studying at Hanshin University that occurred last November, according to police, Friday.The official, whose identity remains undisclosed, is suspected of accepting meals, drinks and entertainment outings from Hanshin University officials in exchange for granting entry visas to the Uzbek students who did not meet the necessary criteria.The official is accused of violating anti-graft laws and abusing his authority.

“We are examining the allegations. We have requested clarification from the Ministry of Justice regarding whether his actions constitute a abuse of power. Since guidelines on issuing visas to international students vary by country and university, we need the cooperation of the justice ministry,” an officer at Osan Police Station told The Korea Times.The potential involvement of the immigration official is noteworthy, particularly considering that the university had forced the Uzbek students to leave, citing their violation of immigration laws.The reported exchanges between Hanshin employees and the immigration official allegedly took place around 10 times starting from May 2023. This coincided with the university’s acceptance of applications from international students for enrollment in their Korean language course for the upcoming fall semester, beginning in September of that year.At that time, the immigration official was serving as the head of the Pyeongtaek branch of the Suwon Immigration Office in Gyeonggi Province. The branch is responsible for visa matters for foreign students at Hanshin University, which is located in Osan, 스포츠토토존 Gyeonggi Province.

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