June 01, 2018 11:45
Police on Thursday sought an arrest warrant for Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho's wife on assault and other charges, while prosecutors raided the headquarters of the airline over alleged tax evasion and breach of duty.
Seoul police applied for an arrest warrant for Lee Myung-hee on seven charges including assaulting staff and obstruction of business. The charges stem from video footage showing Lee assaulting a worker at a Korean Air construction site in 2014, plus testimony from victims claiming that she threw scissors at a maid in her home and kicked a chauffeur.
A police spokesman said, "We decided to seek an arrest warrant, because she continues to deny the charges and pressure victims to reach a settlement, raising concerns that she will try to destroy evidence."
Police questioned Lee twice last month and interviewed around 170 witnesses, concluding that at least 11 people have fallen victim to her ungovernable rages.
Meanwhile, prosecutors raided Korean Air headquarters on suspicion that the chairman evaded taxes, embezzled company funds and breached his duties.
The raid came after prosecutors tracked suspicious transfers of money from bank accounts held by the Cho family and said they are looking for possible slush funds.
Cho's two daughters and son are also being probed by the Korea Customs Service and Ministry of Education. The two daughters, Hyun-ah and Hyun-min, are being investigated on charges of smuggling, while the son, Korean Air president Cho Won-tae, is alleged to have illicitly transferred to Inha University from a nondescript two-year college in the U.S. in 1998.
Cho Hyun-min also faces charges for assaulting staff in a scandal that points to congenital anger-management problems and a medieval sense of entitlement in the family, which runs the publicly traded Hanjin Group like a private fiefdom.
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