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42 indicted over S. Korean tobacco maker's corruption scandal

All News 17:42 June 01, 2016

SEOUL, June 1 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors said Wednesday a total of 42 people involved with the country's leading tobacco maker, including the former and current chiefs, have been indicted on a string of corruption charges.

The executive members of KT&G Corp. are accused of receiving bribes from its subcontractors in return for business favors, according to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office.

Along with Min Young-jin, who headed the company from 2010 to 2015, and the incumbent chief Baek Bok-in, five additional former and current board members have been indicted.

Min has been under custody since December on charges of receiving some 150 million won (US$125,600) worth of kickbacks between 2009 and 2012. He is also accused of giving 660 million won of bribes to a public official, seeking business favors.

The 57-year-old resigned in July 2015, when prosecutors launched the investigation.

Baek, who succeeded Min, is suspected of receiving 55 million won in bribes from an advertising company and helping one of the witnesses flee the country while investigation on Min was under way.

Prosecutors said they have also indicted 17 officials from the tobacco maker's subcontractors as well as employees from the ad firm which had contracts with KT&G.

The irregularities were possible after scrutiny by the government loosened following the company's privatization in 2002, prosecutors said, wrapping up their year-long investigation.


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