Korean police question KT chair in donation probe

17 Apr 2018

South Korean police are reportedly questioning KT chairman Hwang Chang-gyu over suspicions that the operator made illegal political donations in exchange for favorable legislation.

Police believe that KT made donations to lawmakers sitting on the parliamentary committee in charge of telecommunications in return for policies favorable to KT's newest business, its internet banking service, Yonhap News reported.

South Korean law bars registered companies from donating any funds to lawmakers as well as donations made with company money.

The police suspect that former and current KT executives may have paid around 90 legislators a combined 430 million won ($401.8 million) in illegal donations between 2014 and 2017.

According to the report, police have already raided the offices of KT and its affiliates on suspicion that KT executives used company funds to buy large amounts of gift vouchers and then cashed these vouchers out for donation money.

Authorities believe that Hwang may have either instructed these executives to do so or was briefed about the plan.

Hwang, who was appointed chairman of the company in 2014 and last year renewed his term for a further three years, has been asked to come in for questioning today, the report adds. Depending on the outcome he may be interrogated for a second time.

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