Korean Air chief summoned over alleged fund misappropriation

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 19, 2017 - 11:16
  • Updated : Sept 19, 2017 - 11:16
The chief of South Korea's top airline appeared before police investigators Tuesday to face questioning over his alleged misappropriation of company funds for a home renovation.

Cho Yang-ho, chairman of both Hanjin Group and Korean Air Lines Co., showed up at the National Police Agency in Seoul as a criminal suspect facing possible charges of breach of trust.

He refused to take any questions from reporters, only saying that he will "fully cooperate with the investigation." 

Cho, 68, is suspected of siphoning off 3 billion won ($2.65 million) from his company money set aside for the construction of a hotel in order to pay for the remodeling of his house in central Seoul between May 2013 and August 2014. 

Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho enters the main building of the National Police Agency in Seoul on Sept. 19, 2017, to face questioning over alleged fund misappropriation. (Yonhap)

He has denied any wrongdoing, saying he had no knowledge of the misappropriation.

The police said they will focus their questions on finding out how much Cho knew about the misuse of the funds. The police are trying to uncover to what extent his wife, Lee Myung-hee, was also involved in the alleged misappropriation.

A senior Korean Air official has been arrested on embezzlement charges in relation to the illicit spending of the company's money.

The allegations were raised during a separate police investigation into possible tax fraud by an interior renovation company that works largely for business conglomerates. The company took the hotel construction job as well as the one for the renovation of Cho's residence.

In early July, police investigators raided the airline's headquarters in western Seoul and confiscated accounting books and contract documents. (Yonhap)