[EDITORIALS]The amazing Mr. MinMin Gyeong-chan, a distant relative by marriage of President Roh Moo-hyun, has told financial authorities that he raised 65.3 billion won ($56.2 million) in investment funds without contracts or any other form of documents. The official who questioned Mr. Min has said that he could not understand how that could happen, and all in two months. Would it have been possible if Mr. Min had not been the president’s relative by marriage? Since the National Police Agency has undertaken an inquiry into Mr. Min’s case, we hope to hear some answers.
The inquiry should show if this is another corruption case involving the names of the mighty. The Millennium Democratic Party has claimed that it has evidence that a vice minister-level bureaucrat had a hand in raising the money. In political circles, there are rumors that even cited the president’s name.
The Financial Supervisory Service, the agency that questioned Mr. Min, is saying that it suspects that someone intervened on Mr. Min’s behalf and led the money-raising. Left unattended, allegations of possible wrongdoing by presidential families and relatives can easily inflate out of proportion.
When Mr. Min first gave an interview to a weekly magazine, he said that his company had drawn up contracts. It must be ascertained whether he is hiding those contracts for legal reasons.
They should also find out who these investors are that plunked down 1.4 billion won each without contracts and without asking where their money would be invested. Mr. Min admitted that some of the money may have come in not because of specific investment plans but because of “ulterior motives.”
Questions about Mr. Min and his investment fund are growing, but the Blue House and the Financial Supervisory Service have disappointed us. Days after Mr. Min’s interview was published, the Blue House belatedly said that he was not cooperating and that they had referred the case to the National Police Agency. The Financial Supervisory Service’s belated disclosure of their questioning is also questionable. As wrongdoing by a presidential relative is added to investigations of Mr. Roh’s aides, the administration will find it hard to tout its reforms and ethical standards.