The Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has started an investigation into 20 wealthy individuals who are suspected of having carried in US$50 million from abroad for property donations. The organization announced on Sept. 24 that it recently received documents about their unreported remittances of at least US$1 million from foreign exchange banks, which has sparked an in-depth investigation.
One of the targets of the investigation is Lotte Group Chairman Shin Kyuk-ho, who is known to have received a remittance of approximately US$9 million. The FSS suspects that the money has to do with tax evasion and slush funds.
“The foreign currency in question was to pay the tax that had been imposed during the course of the disposal of some of the Lotte Corporation shares that had been acquired through the merger with Yeosu Chemical, which is now Lotte Chemical,” the company explained, adding, “100 percent of the remittance was paid as the transfer income tax.” According to the FSS, any transaction prior to the tax payment can be regarded as a transfer transaction constituting a donation, although a remittance for tax payment purposes does not have to be reported.
In the meantime, the other targets of the investigation include OCI Chairman Lee Su-young, DaeA Group Chairman Hwang In-chan, and the sons and daughters of Binggrae Chairman Kim Ho-yeon.