Gov't to Crack Down on Offshore Tax Evasion of Chaebols

  • By Jeong Woo-sang

    May 15, 2018 12:07

    President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for a special investigative team spanning multiple government agencies to sniff out hiddden offshore accounts of rich Koreans.

    "Tax evasion by hiding money overseas is must be stopped." Moon added, "There have been revelations recently of prominent people concealing their assets and income to avoid taxes, stirring up a public outcry."

    Moon made the comments in a meeting with senior secretaries. "Illegal concealment of assets in overseas bank accounts transcends borders and involves the aid of experts, so there are limits to what individual government agencies can do," he said.

    The task force will therefore consist of officials from the National Tax Service, Korea Customs Service and prosecution.

    President Moon Jae-in (left) attends a meeting with his senior officials at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Monday.

    "Please look for ways to help the investigative team seek out and punish violators and recover assets," Moon said. "If our laws have loopholes, look for ways to improve them."

    Asked who the targets of the investigation could be, a key Cheong Wa Dae official said, "There are matters involving certain businesses."

    The cryptic hint seems to point at Korean Air chief Cho Yang-ho and his family, who are already subject to multiple investigations, and other conglomerate owner families. Cho stands accused of dodging inheritance tax on his father's overseas assets.

    A Cheong Wa Dae official said other targets are individuals whose illicit overseas accounts were discovered in anti-corruption probes. Again the official refrained from naming names, but that category could include former presidents Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak.

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