The Korea Customs Service searched the main office of Korean Air Lines Co. on April 23 as part of its investigation into the allegations that the owner family members of Hanjin Group evaded customs duties.
Some 20 KCS officials searched the central computer center of the company’s main office in Banghwa-dong, western Seoul, the company’s office in Gimpo International Airport and the office of Hanjin Travel in Sogong-dong, central Seoul.
Hanjin Travel’s Sogong-dong office has been used by Cho Hyun-min, Korean Air's senior vice president and the Hanjin Group chairman's youngest daughter who faces a probe for allegedly throwing water in the face of an ad agency manager during a meeting last month.
On April 21, the KCS searched the homes of the chairman’s three children -- Cho Hyun-ah, Cho Won-tae and Cho Hyun-min -- on suspicion that they brought in luxury goods into the country without paying duties.
During the search, KCS officials sought to secure evidence of customs duty evasion based on the details of overseas credit card uses by the three children. They reportedly took photos of the luxury goods that were not declared at customs.
During their second search, the KSC officials put their focus on determining whether the owner family members mobilized company officials to evade customs duties.
Following the so-called “water rage” of Cho Hyun-min, a growing number of company officials have come forward with accusations that the owner family members brought in luxury goods without paying duties by disguising them as company goods or aircraft parts.
On April 22, Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho apologized to the general public for the misconduct of his two daughters. He said the two daughters would be stripped of all their responsibilities.
Cho Hyun-ah, the chairman’s eldest daughter who made headlines four years ago for the high-profile "nut rage" scandal, was tapped as the new president of KAL Hotel Network last month.