Go to contents

Lamborghini tax official

Posted December. 25, 2010 11:37,   


The Lamborghini is one of the world’s best luxury sports cars along with the Ferrari, being top-notch in all aspects including speed, design and price. The Lamborghini is also known as a “super car” or “dream sports car.” It comes mainly in two models, namely the Murcielago and Gallardo. The Murcielago LP 640 boasts a top speed of 340 kilometers per hour and 640 horsepower and its price starts at 500 million won (430,000 U.S. dollars).

The severity of misdemeanors and corruption committed by an official at Seoul’s Gangseo district tax office is simply shocking. The official was arrested in October on the charge of narcotics use, but a criminal investigation found that he misappropriated a huge sum of taxes. Colluding with used car dealers, he created fake documents and got 3.9 billion won (3.3 million dollars) in corporate income and other taxes reimbursed. He spent the money lavishly for entertainment and drug purchases, leasing or buying luxury passenger cars including the Murcielago LP 640, which even semi-millionaires can hardly afford. Dong-A Ilbo reporter Seok Dong-bin, who holds a professional race driver’s license, said, “The cost for owning the Murcielago LP 640, including depreciation, is 40 million (35,000 dollars) to 50 million won (43,500 dollars) per year, which is similar to the cost to buy a Hyundai Grandeur (sold as Azera in the U.S.) luxury sedan." The crooked official truly deserves the title "Lamborghini tax official" and is far more corrupt than a prosecutor caught for taking a Grandeur as a bribe.

A director-level official at the Public Administration and Security Ministry in charge of overseeing a foundation for a project called “Creation of a Good Community” used the foundation’s corporate credit cards for personal use. He frequented bars and karaokes on the organization`s tab as well as paying dining expenses and purchases by his family. He effectively used the foundation’s corporate card as his own personal credit card.

Chinese emperor Kangxi, one of the greatest rulers of the ancient Qing Dynasty, declared a lenient rule in his dynasty, but thoroughly applied a no-mercy policy on corrupt officials. “If corrupt senior government officials are left unchecked, this jeopardizes the people`s livelihood and the country`s foundation," he would say, and had most crooked officials executed. Pardons were rare under his rule. His successor Yongzheng deprived corrupt officials of personal wealth. A corrupt civil servant like the Lamborghini tax official is damaging to most other government employees who work hard. Such a corrupt civil servant reduces public trust of the government, and thus damages national security. If soldiers who defend the nation by braving barbed wire and the sea amid freezing weather hear this story, would they want to risk their lives to prevent North Korea`s aggression and defend South Korea?

Editorial Writer Kwon Sun-hwal (shkwon@donga.com)