South Korean authorities are all over Kangwon Land, and we mean all over, after a hiring scandal. The authorities snapped the casino shut over the weekend and went about seizing documentary evidence that they believe can directly pinpoint Kangwon Land as the root cause of the hiring scandal.
Kangwon Land is unique in that it is the only casino within South Korea that residents of the country may gamble at. The Korea Times reported that the general prosecutor ransacked Kangwon Land over the weekend in order to procure evidence that would pinpoint a previous senior member of the tourism department. This particular former government official has been accused of corruption. The prosecutor also invaded the homes and offices of certain people as well as the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, located at the Sejong Government Complex.
The prosecutor would not identify the official they were trying to pin down as a figure for corruption; rather they identified them only under the name ‘Kim’ and stated that they had been in contact with a manager at Kangwon Land. The official documents indicate that this official had granted permission for the Kangwon Land expansion proposal to be approved on the basis that a few of his family members would be assured of employment at the casino as well.
The prosecutor apparently wanted to find exact documents relating to the 2013 expansion of the casino in order to find confirmation of the allegations. However, this kind of procurement scandal is not the first to murk the waters at Kangwon Land. Last September, Kangwon Land issued an official document to the media stating that the vast majority of their employees had not earned their position on merit of qualifications or experience, but though affiliation to politicians or other people of influence. The number was a staggering 493 of 518 employees who had used influence to garner their positions.
Kangwon Land Gate
This scandal was known as the Kangwon Land Gate and was mostly laid on the door of the former CEO Choi Heung-jip, Choi and an additional employee at Kangwon Land were indicted by the prosecutor. However, the current government of South Korea says that the former governing party Liberty Korea Party ordered the prosecutor to end his investigation before the full story of how intensely messed up everything was. Last December, Choi was arrested for procuring people on the behest of former members of the conservative Liberty Korea Party.