Kumho brother questioned about \30 billion slush fund

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Kumho brother questioned about \30 billion slush fund


Park Chan-koo, right, chairman of Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co., walks to the Southern District Prosecutors’ Office in Seoul yesterday. By Kim Do-hoon

Prosecutors at the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday summoned Park Chan-koo, chairman of Korea Kumho Petrochemical Co., to question him over an alleged slush fund and making money through inside information.

Park is suspected of having created a slush fund of around 30 billion won ($27.8 million) by paying the company’s contractors for phoney jobs, or overpaying them and then getting the money back.

He is also alleged to have pocketed around 10 billion won by selling stock in an affiliate company, Kumho Industrial, that he and his son owned, using internal company information.

Kumho Petrochemical and Kumho Industrial belong to the Kumho Asiana Group, a major construction and logistics conglomerate chaired by Park’s elder brother Park Sam-koo.

Before entering the Prosecutors’ Office, Park Chan-koo denied all the allegations to reporters and said the accusations against him actually should be directed at Kumho Asiana.

The brothers, two of five sons of Kumho founder Park In-cheon, had a feud over ownership of the group in 2009, and they both ended up resigning from their posts in 2009 before returning to the positions last year. Park Chan-koo claimed Kumho Asiana is at the center of the slush funds scandal, not his company.

By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

검찰, 박찬구 회장 소환조사

서울남부지검 형사6부(부장 차맹기)는 3일 300억원대의 비자금을 조성하고 미공개 정보를 이용해 부당 이득을 얻은 혐의(특경가법상 배임·횡령 및 자본시장법 위반)로 박찬구(63) 금호석유화학 회장을 소환해 조사했다.

검찰은 이날 피의자 신분인 박 회장을 상대로 비자금 규모와 조성 방법, 사용처 등을 집중 조사했다. 검찰은 박 회장이 자신의 친인척이 운영하는 협력업체와 거래하면서 장부를 조작하는 등의 수법으로 최대 300억원의 비자금을 조성한 것으로 보고 있다. 이날 오전 10시 피의자 신분으로 검찰에 출석한 박 회장은 비자금 조성 및 부당이득 혐의에 관한 취재진의 질문에 “사실이 아니다”고 말했다. 그는 “이 사건에 금호아시아나그룹이 관련돼 있는 것 같으냐”는 질문에는 “그렇다고 생각한다”고 답했다. 금호아시아나그룹은 박 회장의 형인 박삼구(66)씨가 명예회장으로 있으며, 2009년 ‘형제의 난’ 이후 분리경영을 선언한 상태다.

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