A man in his 40s stands accused of living as a blind person for eight years and fraudulently receiving government money after a neighbor apparently saw him driving a car.
The Busan Yeonje Police Station said Thursday that it had arrested the man, whose identity was not revealed, without physical detention on suspicion of violating the Act on Pensions for Persons with Disabilities.
The man is suspected of misrepresenting himself as a person with a level 1 visual impairment -- the most serious level -- for eight years between January 2010 and August 2018, and receiving 118 million won ($101,566) in government assistance allocated for people with disabilities.
Police said the suspect was diagnosed with a level 1 visual impairment at a local hospital, where he was treated for several eye diseases.
They say he was caught after one of his neighbors, believing he was blind, reported him to the Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission after seeing him driving a car and even parking it with no problem.
People diagnosed with level 1 visual impairments are not eligible for driver’s licenses.
Upon examining the suspect’s phone, police say the committee discovered a video of him driving on a highway. Police said the man did have an eye disease and needed to wear glasses but could function in life just like any other person.
Police say the suspect admitted he had faked blindness to receive government subsidies meant for people with disabilities.
By Choi Ji-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)