Korean Air Heiress Suspended Over 'Water Rage' Scandal

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    April 17, 2018 10:53

    Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-min, the airline chairman's younger daughter, has been temporarily suspended from her job with the flag carrier as an "office rage" scandal deepens. 

    Korean Air said Monday that she was suspended from her job and would remain on suspension until the police investigation is complete. "We plan to take adequate measures once the findings come out," the airline said. 

    Police on Tuesday applied for a travel ban for Cho. "We've launched an official investigation into the incident and booked her as a suspect, so we asked the Justice Ministry to ban her from leaving the country," a police spokesman said.

    Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-min arrives at Incheon International Airport on Sunday, in this TV grab from MBC.

    Meanwhile, Korean Air faces charges of violating aviation laws after it was revealed that Cho, a U.S. citizen, served as a registered board member at the carrier's budget subsidiary Jin Air.

    Cho was born in Hawaii in 1983 and apparently chose U.S. citizenship but served as a registered board member at Jin Air from 2010 to 2016.

    According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, that could in theory invalidate the license for Jin Air because it failed to declare the influence of a foreign citizen.

    But the ministry said it will not be possible to punish Jin Air now that Cho is no longer in the post since regulations give impunity to an airline that removes a foreign board member within three months of being found out.

    Cho became a registered board member a year after Jin Air won its license in 2009, but the ministry failed to discover the violation.

    A ministry official said, "Relevant laws were enacted in 2016, so there was no way we could have noticed any violation before."

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