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`Chun Lobbied Ex-Tax Chief on Taekwang Audit`

Posted May. 20, 2009 00:03,   


Investigators will seek an arrest warrant for Sejoong Namo Tour CEO Chun Shin-il on charges of taking bribes and tax evasion. He is known to have lobbied the head of the National Tax Service last year to help Taekwang avoid a tax audit.

Chun allegedly took bribes from Taekwang Industry Chairman Park Yeon-cha in return for helping Park avoid a tax audit.

Prosecutors returned Chun late last night after questioning, saying he is suspected of taking 150,000 yuan (21,739 U.S. dollars) from Park in the Beijing Olympics in August last year in return for helping Park avoid a tax audit.

Chun also allegedly took hundreds of millions of won (hundreds of thousands of dollars) Park failed to collect in November after investing in the now-defunct Sejoong Game Box, a subsidiary of Sejoong Namo Tour.

Prosecutors said Chun asked then National Tax Service Commissioner Han Sang-ryule not to conduct a tax audit when tax officials were investigating Taekwang from July through November last year.

They confirmed that Chun lobbied Han in an e-mail response sent yesterday morning. A source from the ruling party said the presidential office warned Chun not to get involved in a tax audit when Chun’s lobbying activities was detected in the investigation.

Former Patriots and Veterans Affairs Minister Kim Jung-bok, Park’s in-law who was also the head of a regional tax office, is also known to have asked working-level tax officers not to conduct an audit on Taekwang.

needjung@donga.com dnsp@donga.com