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Travel Company CEO Probed in Taekwang Bribery Scandal

Posted April. 25, 2009 05:54,   


Prosecutors yesterday said Sejoong Namo Tour Chairman Chun Shin-il is suspected of receiving a large bribe from Taekwang Industrial CEO Park Yeon-cha in return for canceling scheduled tax audits.

“We’re investigating monetary transactions between Chun and Park that appeared between July and November last year when Taekwang Industrial was undergoing a tax audit,” an official at the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office said.

In phone interviews with media, Chun said, “When I visited Beijing as the chairman of the Korea Wrestling Federation in August last year for the Beijing Olympics, I received Chinese currency worth 20 million won (14,903 U.S. dollars) from Park. But it was legal since Park gave me the money to support my activities in Beijing.”

Chun denied taking money from Park to help the CEO avoid tax audits.

Former President Roh Moo-hyun, who is suspected of taking bribes worth six million dollars from Park, is expected to send his written answers to prosecutors’ questionnaire today.

Roh’s former chief of staff Moon Jae-in expressed hope that Roh will be summoned swiftly, saying, “It won’t take long to complete the questionnaire. I hope prosecutors finish their investigation swiftly since not only Roh but also Koreans have had a hard time.”

In response, senior prosecutor Hong Man-pyo said, “If the written answers are sent to us today, we’ll review the document by tomorrow and decide when to summon Roh.”

According to prosecutors, Roh’s elder brother Roh Gun-pyeong, who faces indictment for influence peddling, asked Roh Moo-hyun to appoint Park’s in-law Kim Jung-bok, who was the head of the Jungbu Regional Tax Office at the time, as chief of the National Tax Service in December, 2004.

The elder Roh said, “I asked my brother at Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office) but he declined.”

Prosecutors asked Roh Gun-pyeong to testify at the first trial against Park Jung-kyu, Roh’s former senior civil affairs secretary who is charged with accepting department store gift certificates worth 100 million won (74,516 dollars) from Taekwang CEO Park.

Prosecutors said Park Yeon-cha asked Roh’s former secretary to help Kim become head of the tax service.

“We need the testimony of the elder Roh to prove that Park (Yeon-cha) has been involved in a variety of lobbying activities for his in-law,” a prosecutor said.

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