Shinsegae Group affiliates, ministry raided over as jobs-for-favors suspicions engulf KFTC officials

2 July 2018 10:44am

26 June 2018. By Ron Lubosco.

South Korean prosecutors have raided affiliates of Shinsegae Group, the founder of one of the country’s largest department stores, and the Ministry of Personnel Management as part of a probe of suspected recruitment violations by former officials at the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

It is understood that the raids on Shinsegae affiliates SSGPAY and JW Holdings, and on the ministry, were conducted in connection with raids last week at the Korea Fair Trade Commission and the non-profit Korea Fair Competition Federation. The ministry oversees reviews of the re-employment of former officials after they resign from the KFTC and other government agencies.

Last week’s raid came amid suspicions that officials at the KFTC had closed an investigation of potential antitrust violations prematurely in exchange for generous employment offers from the companies being probed.

The Public Service Ethics Act prohibits public officials ranked grade four or above — senior managers or higher — for three years from working at companies involved in any way with their former agency or division five years prior to their departures from their positions

It is understood that the searches were conducted to gather data on the employment of former officials, but due to data privacy laws, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ office needed to obtain warrants in order to gather that data.

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