11 billion won, or approximately $10 million, was discovered by a laborer named Ahn who had been hired to dig up an apricot tree.
According to the police, a 53-year-old man (who has only been identified as Lee) had buried the cash for his brothers-in-law, who were under investigation for operating an illegal gambling operation on the Internet.
Police are currently investigating the cash and another $5 million that is reportedly missing. There have been accusations that Ahn stole some of the missing cash, although ABC News reports that this is possibly just be a tactic by the owner of the land, hoping to protect himself from the gangsters whose money he'd hidden.
Ahn, 52, was apparently hired this February, after the land was sold. Lee bought the land, and the former owner wanted his old apricot tree. (News reports do not identify any of the men's first names.) As Ahn was digging, he uncovered a plastic box. He thought it was junk and got rid of it, unaware that it was actually filled with $270,000 in cash.
Two months later, Lee claimed that Ahn had stolen $620,000, and told Ahn that the money belonged to gangsters. Ahn then hurried to the police, declaring his innocence and seeking protection.
Police were dispatched to the garlic field in Gimje, about 160 miles south of Seoul, and began digging. On Monday they unearthed 27 plastic boxes, stuffed with Korean currency totaling $10 million.
When Lee was confronted by the police, he confessed to burying the cash for his in-laws.
Between January of 2008 and November of 2009, Lee's brothers-in-law, who are also both named Lee, ran an illegal gambling website with a server based in Hong Kong. Eventually the police tracked down the site, and put the Lee brothers out of business. The younger Lee is now in jail, while the elder Lee is on the run from the law.
According to local reports, Lee the field owner recently dug up some of the money for his own use and he was in a panic about how to explain the missing cash to the younger Lee brother, who is due for release next month.
Source: ABC News