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Hotel Shilla CEO to Be Summoned

Posted January. 19, 2008 05:44,   


A special prosecution team investigating allegations of an illegal Samsung slush fund, summoned Hotel Shilla’s chief executive Seong Yeong-mok, 52, yesterday. It was first time that a Samsung executive was questioned about the case.

Seong formerly worked on the finance team at the secretariat for Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee in the early 1990s and also worked at Samsung Securities. Prosecutors consider Seong to be one of the 150 Samsung executives whose names were used by the group to open secret bank accounts. Earlier, the head office for the special investigation team confirmed that around 150 bank accounts were made on borrowed or false names.

At around 10 a.m., Seong arrived in a black sedan to Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul where the special investigation team has its offices and went up to the 8th floor where the questioning was conducted.

Based on investigation records regarding the prosecutions previous attempt to track accounts using falsified names suspected to be used to hide slush funds and analysis of how the accounts were used, the special investigation team examined details including how the accounts were made, where the money in the accounts came from, and how the money was used.

Special prosecutors also questioned why several accounts suspected to be made on false or borrowed names had the same password of ‘0000’ and ‘1111.’

Another two employees of Samsung Securities were also summoned yesterday.

Prosecutors’ investigation into Samsung’s alleged slush funds will be intense since it has been revealed that two or three Samsung employees would be summoned each day.

The special investigation team has reportedly summoned ten Samsung employees. They include: Bae Ho-won, 58, president of Samsung Securities; Min Gyeong-chun, 55, executive director of Samsung’s volunteer team; Jeon Yong-bae, 46, director of the group’s strategy and planning department; and two managers surnamed Choi and Kim belonging to management support team of the strategy and planning department.

verso@donga.com dnsp@donga.com