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Korean President orders the firing of 226 illegally hired Kangwon Land employees

Friday, 16 March 2018 05:36
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Korean President Moon Jae-in has fired 226 employees of Kangwon Land found to have been hired via political connections.

Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told local press on Thursday that the government was set to initiate the process of dismissing all employees who landed their positions as a result of corrupt and unfair hiring practices at Kangwon Land, the only casino in Korea where locals are allowed to play.

“President Moon Jae-in today ordered the government to take swift and thorough measures against employment-related corruption at public organizations, best known through the Kangwon Land case,” Eui-kyeom said. He added that a meeting of government officials had decided to “take measures, such as dismissal from office, against all 226 workers who were found to have been accepted through illicit means.”

The move follows a series of weekend raids by a special unit of the Supreme Prosecutors Office on the offices of Kangwon Land Inc and the government department that oversees it, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. The homes of three people including a former senior official at the Ministry of Sport and Tourism were also raided.

Evidence of Kangwon Land’s illegal hiring practices emerged late last year following an investigation by the Moon Government. President Moon has made no secret of his desire to stamp out such practices since taking office in May, with a number of other public companies set to face similar probes under his watch.

In September, Kangwon Land released a statement admitting that 493 of the 518 people it had hired from 2012 to 2013 were appointed due to connections with various “influential people.”

“We apologize for committing a crime which would have been possible only in the 1960s or ‘70s,” the company said at the time.

“A thing of the past is tarnishing the image of Kangwon Land, which has been trying hard to improve its transparency in recent years. It breaks the hearts of all employees and we are very sorry.”

Kangwon Land blamed former CEO Choi Heung-jip, who oversaw the company between July 2011 and February 2014, for the scandal. The corruption was originally uncovered in 2015 but the case was quickly closed that same year with only Choi and one other employee indicted.

Despite admitting to rampant illegal hiring, Kangwon Land took no action against any employees involved following last year’s government investigation, leaving President Moon to do so instead.

Last weekend’s raids included the office of Liberty Party Korea official Yeom Dong-yeol, who is alleged to have requested the hiring of 46 job applicants in 2012, of which 27 were given jobs by Kangwon Land. Another seven were hired after Yeom made a second request to the casino.






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