Customs Service raids Korean Air headquartersKorea’s customs authorities said Wednesday its officials raided the headquarters of Korean Air over allegations it violated foreign exchange laws in a widening probe into the chairman’s family.
The Korea Customs Service (KCS) said some 40 officials have been sent to the main office of the country’s flagship carrier in western Seoul over suspicions the company violated the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act.
The customs office has been looking into allegations Chairman Cho Yang-ho’s family smuggled luxury goods into the country without paying due taxes.
The Cho family is under a series of investigations after the chairman’s youngest daughter, Cho Hyun-min, a former executive of Korean Air, was accused of allegedly assaulting ad agency officials.
The KCS raid is the fourth of its kind conducted on the full-service carrier.
Cho Hyun-min is the younger sister of Cho Hyun-ah, who gained global notoriety for the “nut rage” incident in 2014. She forced a plane back to the boarding gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport because she was upset with the way her nuts were served.
In March, Cho Hyun-ah made a comeback as the head of KAL Hotel Network, the operator of the Grand Hyatt Incheon, near Incheon International Airport.
Both sisters have since been stripped of their company posts.
Meanwhile, the chief of the country’s customs office said earlier that Chairman Cho and his only son, Cho Won-tae, president of Korean Air, will be questioned over allegations of smuggling.
The Korea Customs Service (KCS) has been investigating allegations that the owner family has been smuggling luxury goods into the country without properly paying duties.
Smuggling is an offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines of up to 10 times the duties evaded.
Also on Wednesday Hanjin Group said Korean Air Chairman Cho and his four siblings have paid 19.2 billion won ($17.7 million) in inheritance tax.
The five paid inheritance tax following the death of Hanjin Group founder Cho Choong-hoon in 2002, but they learned in April 2016 that they have additional overseas assets they are entitled to inherit and revised their inheritance tax payment to the tax authorities in January this year.
The move came amid prosecutors’ probe on Cho Yang-ho’s alleged tax evasion.