Businessman had his own abuses filmed
An executive who runs two of Korea’s largest online file storage services made headlines Wednesday after footage circulated of him abusing employees and indulging in bizarre acts of cruelty towards animals - including killing chickens with a bow and arrow.
Yang Jin-ho, chairman of Korea Future Technology and de facto owner of the popular online file sharing systems Wedisk and Filenori, is shown severely beating a former employee in video footage exposed Tuesday by Newstapa, a website run by the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism.
The footage - filmed in April 2015 - shows Yang slapping a former male worker in front of dozens of employees in an office while spewing profanities at him. The physical abuse was allegedly prompted by Yang discovering that the former employee had pretended to be him in a comment posted online.
The worker - who now lives on a remote island in southern Korea - told Newstapa he moved out of Seoul after the abuse because he could not withstand the humiliation he was forced to endure.
But revelations of the executive’s abuse did not end there. On Wednesday, Newstapa released a follow-up report containing footage of Yang forcing his workers to commit wanton acts of cruelty towards farm animals like shooting live chickens with a bow and arrow and decapitating them with a Japanese sword.
The video was captured during a company outing in 2016 at a farm owned by Yang, where he made employees kill the animals for his personal enjoyment. The slaughtered chickens were then served as dinner, one former worker told Newstapa.
He would also reportedly force his male employees, some in middle age, to dye their hair red and green for his amusement, and regularly forced them to drink copious amounts of alcohol at company dinners without bathroom breaks, witnesses told Newstapa. If an employee really had to go, he would dock his or her salary by 100,000 won ($88). If one had to vomit, Yang would make them do so at the table.
The videos in the reports were all captured with Yang’s consent and some under his direct order, according to Newstapa. He reportedly wanted to keep records of these acts as souvenirs.
Former employees allege that they were constantly on edge at work. A former Wedisk employee told Newstapa that one of his colleagues was fired for not washing lettuce at a company retreat fast enough for Yang. Another employee recalled that Yang would walk around the office with a BB gun, randomly shooting plastic pellets at employees.
The file-sharing websites run by Yang are widely known in Korea as popular mediums for distribution of pornography. Police believe Yang has earned a fortune from operating these services, which charge users fees to download files uploaded by others. The anonymity and ease of access offered by the websites have caused them to be repositories for illegal material like revenge porn and spycam footage.
Yang is currently under investigation for digital sex crimes. His home and Wedisk and Filenori’s offices in Seongnam, Gyeonggi, were raided by police last September. A spokesman for the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said investigators are looking into how the profits earned by these websites have enriched Yang, who is nominally no longer chairman of their holding companies.
After video of Yang’s multiple abuses generated public controversy on Wednesday, the Gyeonggi Nambu police said that it would add another division to its team investigating Yang to look into additional allegations of violence and animal cruelty.
Yang has yet to respond to the accusations of abuse, and attempts by various news agencies to get a comment from him were met with silence.
BY SHIM KYU-SEOK [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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