Korean Air chief indicted on embezzlement, other charges – prosecutors

Korean Air [Photo: Upgraded Points]
Korean Air [Photo: Upgraded Points]

Korean Air Lines Co Ltd’s chairman, Cho Yang-ho, on Monday was indicted on charges including embezzlement and breach of trust, South Korean prosecutors said.

South Korean prosecutors said Mr Cho added to a string of woes at the country’s biggest airline group.

Mr Cho is the latest head of a big business group, or chaebol, to face legal challenges in South Korea since President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017 with a pledge to curb the excessive power of family-owned conglomerates and improve their governance.

Earlier this month, an appeals court found the chairman of retail-to-chemicals conglomerate Lotte Group, Shin Dong-bin, guilty of charges including bribery and breach of trust.

The court said he was charged for his role in an influence-peddling scandal that led to the ouster of the country’s former president, Park Geun-hye.

Samsung Group’s de facto leader Jay Y. Lee was also convicted of corruption in the same bribery scandal.

Both Messrs Lee and Shin are currently awaiting rulings from the country’s top court after their jail terms were suspended by a lower court.

A Seoul prosecutors’ office said Cho took 19.6 billion won (17 million dollars) commission from 2003 through 2018 by setting up a trading company to broker aircraft equipment and in-flight duty-free goods purchase deals for Korean Air.

The office said Mr Cho, however, caused the same amount of loss to the airline.
Korean Air declined to comment and did not make Cho available for comment.

“Also, Emily Cho, the chairman’s youngest daughter, was cleared of all charges related to her allegedly throwing a drink at two business meeting attendees in April.

“Although the attendees did not want to press charges,’’ the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ office said.

(Reuters/NAN)

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