South Korean fencing star’s fiancé, revealed to be transgender con-artist, detained on charges of fraud

South Korean police on Tuesday detained the former fiancé of fencing star Nam Hyun-hee on charges of fraud and attempted fraud.

Nam, a two-time Olympic medallist and a divorcee with one child, split from Chun Cheong-jo last week, days after the 27-year-old was exposed as a transgender scammer with a history of swindling convictions.

Chun, who also posed as an heir of a family-run conglomerate, was picked up from the home of a relative near Seoul.

Chun’s flat and her mother’s residence were searched for evidence.

Nam Hyun Hee poses on the podium after winning gold in the women’s Individual Foil in fencing at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou on November 19, 2010. Photo: AFP

Multiple charges have been filed against Chun alleging she defrauded victims out of about 130 million won (US$96,400) under the pretence of marriage.

Police are considering seeking criminal charges against Chun’s mother for stalking Nam and sending her several text messages asking for “conversations”, Yonhap reported.

“It’s too hard for me. I don’t want Chun to contact or approach me any more,” Nam said.

The Olympian, 42, in August divorced her husband of 12 years, national cyclist Gong Hyo-suk.

Chun had been briefly detained on stalking charges last week and was released later on the grounds that she is not a flight risk.

South Korea’s national police chief has pledged to hold a swift investigation into the allegations against Chun.

South Korean fencing star’s fiancé revealed to be transgender con-artist

Chun, who was reported to be legally a woman, claimed Nam knew about her gender identity in February, and she has not undergone sex reassignment surgery.

“Even as I attempted to maintain the facade of being a third-generation scion of a conglomerate by hiring actors to pose as journalists [and ask me related questions], she quickly discerned my true identity after looking at my smartphone,” Channel A quoted Chun as saying.

The woman maintained Nam asked her to opt for a breast reduction procedure, and she went ahead as she was “truly in love with her”.

“Nam said that my identity as a woman would easily be noticed by others because of my breast,” Chun said.

Chun added she took hormone injections while attempting to become a man.

Nam won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and was also a team bronze medallist at the 2012 Games in London. She runs a fencing academy in the South Korean capital.

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