Former Lotte Homeshopping head quizzed over alleged graft

By 정주원
  • Published : Apr 14, 2014 - 10:02
  • Updated : Apr 14, 2014 - 10:02

The former head of television-based retailer Lotte Homeshopping Co. was called in by prosecutors Monday to face questioning over suspicions of receiving kickbacks from suppliers.

Shin Heon, who headed the retailer from 2008 to 2012, entered the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in southern Seoul around 9 a.m. to undergo questioning as a suspect in the corruption case.

Shin, 60, now serves as chief executive of the country's largest department store chain, Lotte Shopping.

The summons comes as the prosecution office has been investigating a kickback scheme allegedly involving several former and incumbent executives of Lotte Homeshopping, the retailer arm of the fifth-largest conglomerate Lotte Group.

Five former and incumbent executives have been already arrested on charges of taking cash and bribes worth hundreds of millions of won from companies selling their products on the retailer's cable network.

The prosecution office suspects that a portion of the kickbacks was delivered to Shin.

Shin, however, denied the allegation, saying that he had never instructed executives to take the kickbacks in exchange for business favors.

The industry has long been dogged by criticism for its kickback culture. Manufacturers and suppliers often vie to secure prime-time spots because sales can differ greatly depending on the time of the day merchandise is shown. (Yonhap)