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Arms procurement officials referred to prosecution for corruption in production of Cheongung missile

All Headlines 15:23 February 01, 2018

SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Yonhap) -- The Board of Audit and Inspection said Thursday it has referred three former and incumbent officials of the state arms procurement agency for alleged corruption in the course of awarding contracts to produce the Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile.

According to the results of an inspection, one of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration officials pushed for a package contract with LIG Nex1 in 2012 instead of separate contracts for the radar, launch pad and other components, resulting in paying the defense firm 17.6 billion won (US$16.4 million) more than under separate contracts.

The official, whose identity was withheld, asked a partner firm of LIG Nex1 to hire him and joined it in 2014 as an executive. He received a total of 238 billion won in salary over the next three years.

In 2013, the official also helped pressure LIG Nex1 to revise a contract in favor of a parts supplier. After leaving the procurement agency, the official received a corporate credit card from the parts firm and spent about 73 million won personally, according to the inspection results.

The official even had the parts firm hire his wife in 2015.

A second procurement official, who was in charge of cost analysis, also pushed for a package contract with LIG Nex1 without due analysis. Allegedly, in return for his actions, he had his nephew and a brother-in-law hired by a partner firm of LIG Nex1.

A third procurement official pushed for a package contract as well in 2014, resulting in paying the firm 20 billion won more. The official was later entertained with dining and golf rounds worth a total of 4.5 million won, the audit agency said.

This file photo shows a Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile. (Yonhap)

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