ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Ex-Daewoo chief Kim among next targets to collect unpaid fines
Publication Date : 12-09-2013
The prosecution is expected to move ahead in collecting unpaid fines from disgraced business magnates after it recently succeeded in forcing two ex-presidents to pay overdue bills.
Authorities are likely to target Kim Woo-joong, former chairman of the now-defunct Daewoo Group, who owes nearly 22.9 trillion won (US$20 billion) to the state.
In 2002, the Supreme Court ordered the former business tycoon and another five executives of the group to pay a combined 23 trillion won, on charges of accounting fraud. Kim, however, has so far paid only 84 billion won.
The prosecution is likely to zero in on his son, Sun-yong, for his suspicious business in Vietnam. He has allegedly earned billions of won in profits through a paper company there and brought the money to Korea.
The list of delinquents also includes Choi Soon-young, former chairman of Shin DongA Group and his slush fund manager Kim Jong-un, who now leads a charity foundation for the disabled.
The court sentenced the two to pay a total of 196 billion won for illegally transferring company assets overseas. Choi and Kim have so far paid only 200 million won.
“The prosecution will continue to pressure other figures who haven’t paid fines yet, carrying the momentum gained by a successful mission in collecting fines from ex-presidents,” an official at the prosecution said.
The total amount of unpaid fines reached 25.35 trillion won as of July, according to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
The Ministry of Justice has recently revised a law to strengthen the state’s legal force in collecting overdue fines not only from former and incumbent government officials but also from ordinary citizens or businesspeople.
Succumbing to persistent pressure from the prosecution, former President Chun and his family announced Tuesday that they would pay the 167.2 billion won owed in unpaid fines. Prior to Chun’s announcement, former President Roh Tae-woo, also said he would voluntarily pay his remaining fines of 23 billion won.
The Chun family has submitted a detailed plan on how it will pay. It included real estate, financial assets and art. Officials, however, said that Chun and his family may face tax issues because they have to pay a transaction tax to municipal offices each time they liquidate properties.
Chun did not even pay the 45 million won in taxes imposed when his property was sold by public auction in 2003. The Seoul government said it told Chun to pay the bill but hasn’t heard a word from him yet.