Korean Air Belatedly Fined Over 'Nut Rage' Scandal

  • By Hong Jun-ki

    May 21, 2018 13:09

    Korean Air has belatedly been fined W2.79 billion over the 2014 "nut rage" scandal involving heiress Cho Hyun-ah (US$1=W1,080).

    The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation said Friday the decision was made considering the company's violations of aviation regulations and corporate manipulations of documents and employees' testimonies.

    "The company was slapped with an additional fine equal to 50 percent of the amount originally set, W1.86 billion, because it has done little to resolve the issue and the owner's family still influences management unfairly."

    Cho, who was a Korean Air vice president at the time, was fined W1.5 million for lying to investigators and trying to force the purser she had abused in a fit of uncontrollable rage to give false testimony.

    Given the delay of more than three years in taking action, the ministry promised to conduct an internal audit to see whether there were any irregularities in the investigation.

    The ministry also found that chairman Cho Yang-ho and president Cho Won-tae effectively ran Jin Air, a nominally independent budget affiliate, by signing more than 75 of its documents at a time when they held no official titles in the company.

    It reported the finding to the Fair Trade Commission as the practice violates the rules of corporate governance, the spokesman said.

    Nearly every member of the Cho family is under investigation by one or more agencies over scandals from smuggling luxury goods to tax evasion and habitual abuse of staff.

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