Real person ‘Suriname’ Jo Bong-haeng… Died in 2016 while serving

Channel A report… “Died in 2016 due to worsening condition”

▲ There is a lot of interest in the Netflix series ‘Suriname’. Provided by Netflix

As the Korean Netflix series ‘Suriname’ gains popularity, the real case is being re-examined.

‘Suriname’ tells the story of Jeon Yo-hwan (Hwang Jung-min), a Korean drug dealer who escaped to Suriname, a small country in South America, and became a foreign drug dealer, and a civilian businessman (Ha Jung-woo) put in the operation of an NIS agent (Park Hae-soo) who caught him. It is based on the true story of Jo Bong-haeng (70), who was called an ‘international drug lord from Korea’ and was arrested in 2011.

Jo Bong-haeng, known as real person Jeon Yo-hwan, is said to have returned to Suriname after completing his sentence, but Cho is said to have died in 2016.

According to Channel A on the 17th, Cho died on April 19, 2016 at a university hospital in Gwangju. According to the diagnosis of his death, the cause of death was determined to be ‘soldier’ ​​due to heart failure and high blood pressure.

He was serving a sentence at Haenam Prison in Jeollanam-do before his death, and was released after receiving a suspended sentence due to worsening chronic diseases such as high blood pressure. Later, while receiving treatment in hospital, his condition worsened and he died. He was 64 years old at the time of death.

Netflix 'Suriname' stills.  Provided by Netflix

▲ Netflix ‘Suriname’ Pictures. Provided by Netflix

So far, nothing has been revealed about Jo’s whereabouts. Director Yoon Jong-bin of Suriname mentioned in an interview, “Neither the National Intelligence Service nor the prosecution could tell me, so I kept asking.” This is the first time news of a death has been confirmed in Korea. Mr Cho lived in Suriname from the late 1990s to the early 2000s and ran a large-scale drug trafficking organization. After recruiting Koreans as housewives and college students, Cho used methods such as tricking them into paying money to transport drugs because they were gems.

He was arrested at Sao Paulo International Airport in Brazil in 2009 after the NIS, the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Brazilian police worked together.

Cho was extradited to South Korea and sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined 100 million on charges of fraud and drug smuggling in 2011.

Reporter Minji Kim

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