Extra! Korea

June 8, 2009

In Korea, even gangsters need to be pretty

Filed under: crime, rapid cultural change — extrakorea @ 3:24 am

According to this article, police have busted an organized crime gang that operated in the Seoul district of Itaewon. This particular gang wanted to keep a low profile, so they imposed certain selection criteria for new members.

More than 175 centimeters in height; good-looking in appearance; robust health; and no scars on the face.

These are not the criteria in recruiting cadets or bodyguards ― they are requirements for gangsters.

[ snip ]

Police said the gang’s criteria to select members was as strict as those for cadets, as it wanted “excellent members” to expand their “business” nationwide.

“However good at fighting and however loyal to the organization, those having scars on the face or having faces that give an unpleasant feeling could not join the group,” a police officer said.

Other requirements for staying under police radar included not drinking at their hangouts and not quarreling with ordinary citizens. But despite these restrictions, don’t think that these pretty boys are pansies.

After passing the “interview,” they had to undergo two to four years of rigorous training to become “family members,” police said.

In a training camp in Itaewon, the gangster candidates were trained on how to use weapons, how to threaten people, and how to gather promptly at a designated and time when their boss called ― those passing the training courses were eligible to become members.

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