Twenty-four people at a tourist agency have been booked without physical detention on suspicion of operating an illegal taxi business for Chinese tourists visiting South Korea, police said Thursday.
The agency's chief, surnamed Kang, and its 23 employees and drivers allegedly received fares from Chinese people arriving at Incheon airport, west of Seoul, by driving them in passenger vehicles or rented cars to Seoul and duty-free shops from January last year to August this year.
According to police, the 34-year-old Kang established a domestic business entity for a tourist agency in 2015 and accepted reservations for the taxi service through its China-based Internet website and mobile app. The entity had no license for a transportation business.
The company had Chinese tourists transfer taxi fares to a designated Chinese bank account or pay them in the yuan currency, so as to leave no records of the payments in South Korea.
It received an average 30,000 won (around $26.76) per each taxi service from its customers. The company's financial data showed its sales amounted to 2.9 billion won in 2016 and 790 million won last year, police said.
Police found out that Kang, a Korean-Chinese man, obtained a South Korean citizenship and most of the company's employees are Chinese-Korean people. During interrogation, they asserted that doing the transportation business without a license is subject to punishment. (Yonhap)