18 July 2016
A senior South Korean prosecutor, Jin Kyung-joon, has been arrested for allegedly for being involved in shady stock transaction with a leading online game maker, Nexon. He was holding a position considered to be equal to a vice minister in Korea. In 2005 he borrowed $352,000 from Kim Jung-ju, the founder of Nexon (Korea). He bought shares in an unlisted company for this amount. He sold the shares back to the company for $881,000 the following year, after the company was listed.
It was alleged bought shares of Nexon Japan, for $881,000. Four years later in 2015, he sold the shares back to Nexon for $11,000,000, 12 times the price he paid.
It is understood that Jin Kyung-joon and Kim Jung-ju attended a Seoul university together and have maintained good relations since then.
Jin is also being investigated for intervening in a tax investigation against Korean Air in exchange for a contract for his brother-in-law.
Justice Minister Kim Hyun-woong apologized, “I deeply apologize for causing shock and worry to the public for the bribery case involving a high-profile prosecutor.”
He added, “I feel terrible and ashamed that a high-profile prosecutor, who should have high integrity and morality, committed unimaginable corruption. As a special prosecutor is investigating the case, we’ll find out the truth and seek stern punitive action.” Kim said the ministry would reinforce personal management and monitoring systems on prosecutors to prevent similar cases from recurring.
The prosecution is under the Justice Ministry’s supervision.
High level corruption is nothing new to Korea. Many South Korean presidents or their family members and key aides have been embroiled in corruption scandals at the close of their terms or after leaving office. Some high-level prosecutors were forced to resign before they were arrested for bribery, abuse of power and other charges.