May 23, 2013 10:48
Prominent businessmen and their families are suspected of setting up paper companies overseas to dodge taxes at home.
They include Lee Soo-young, the owner of polysilicon manufacturer OCI, and his wife, as well as the wife of the former vice president of Korean Air Cho Choong-kun, and DSDL chairman Cho Wook-rae and his son.
The Korea Center for Investigative Journalism, an independent journalists' group, on Wednesday revealed a list of 245 people suspected of creating bogus companies in tax havens abroad such as the British Virgin Islands. The group said the findings are based on a joint investigation with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
KCIJ chief director Kim Young-jin said the group established that the individuals set up paper companies in tax havens but not whether they dodged taxes in Korea.
KCIJ said it has so far confirmed the identities of a further 20 people besides the businessmen and their families already pinpointed and will announce the names of prominent people on the list as they are identified over the coming month.
The next installment is due this coming Monday and includes executives of major conglomerates and prominent tycoons and their families, it said.
Among the 245, 159 apparently left Korean addresses on the registrations of the paper companies, while 86 gave addresses in Hong Kong or Singapore.
The National Tax Service pledged to investigate.
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