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Daewoo Shipbuilding under fire for bribery scandal

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is considering taking stern punitive action against a group of its executives and employees after the prosecution indicted 14 former and incumbent staffers for receiving kickbacks earlier this week, the company said on Friday.

While it has been rumored that its CEO Ko Jae-ho reportedly ordered all of the company’s 60 executives to tender resignations by Friday, the shipbuilder said in a statement that it has yet to finalize its sanction level.

“En masse resignation was one of the few options mentioned during an internal managerial meeting,” a company spokesman said. “Nevertheless, the management is still discussing how to reprimand those engaged in the misdeed.”

According to the prosecution, a group of executives and employees at Daewoo Shipbuilding collectively took about 3.5 billion won ($3.1 million) in bribery from the company’s subcontractors.

As a case, a senior executive of the shipbuilder was found to have pressured a supplier employee to offer necklaces as a kickback.

“To block these types of irregularities, the company has issued a ban on playing golf with supplier employees. Further, the company plans to dismiss any staffer taking kickbacks even once from now on,” said the spokesman.

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering is a taxpayers’ money-injected manufacturer.

Its bribery scandal is revealed several months after financial authorities expressed their willingness to put the state-funded company up for auction.

“To recoup the public funds, the Financial Services Commission has already launched a process to sell its 17.1 percent stake in the company,” said a regulatory official at the FSC.

The sale plan comes as the shipbuilding industry has suffered a sharp drop in overseas orders in the wake of the global economic slowdown over the past few years.

By Kim Yon-se (

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Korea Herald daum