Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho to be summoned for questioning by prosecutors

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office said Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Yang-ho has been asked to present himself at 9.30am (8.30am SG time) on Thursday (June 28).
The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office said Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Yang-ho has been asked to present himself at 9.30am (8.30am SG time) on Thursday (June 28).PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL - Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Yang-ho will be summoned for questioning over allegations of tax evasion and causing losses to his company, media reported on Wednesday (June 27), citing South Korea's prosecution.

According to Yonhap news agency, the Seoul Southern District Prosecutors' Office said Cho has been asked to present himself at 9.30am (8.30am SG time) on Thursday (June 28).

The reports come amid state prosecution's probe into suspected tax evasion, embezzlement and breach of trust by members of the airline's founding family.

Prosecutors are investigating Cho on suspicion that he evaded taxes worth billions of won, including over 50 billion won (S$61 million) worth of inheritance tax he did not pay when he and his sister inherited overseas assets from his father, Cho Choong-hoon, who founded the conglomerate.

Prosecutors also believe he has embezzled over 20 billion won.

The summons comes amid a slew of ongoing investigations into his wife and children, who are accused of multiple assaults against their employees and others, as well as illegal hiring of foreign housekeepers.

Korean Air (KAL), which is the largest airline and flag carrier of South Korea, has declined to comment.

Reports that Cho will be summoned have caused the shares of Korean Air and Jin Air to fall, an analyst at IBK Securities Kim Ye-eun told Reuters.

Shares of KAL fall as much as 2.8 per cent and shares of its budget carrier affiliate Jin Air drop 4.6 per cent since the news reports broke.