A South Korean district prosecutors’ office has indicted the president and chief executive of Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS), Jang Seok-hyo, for taking bribes and committing breach of trust. The Incheon District Prosecutors’ office issued the indictment without arrest on Friday, with its spokesman saying Jang was suspected of committing breach of trust worth 3.03 billion Korean won ($2.76 million) at an LNG tanker tugboat company he headed before taking over in 2013 as KOGAS CEO.
He is also suspected of taking 280 million Korean won in bribes as CEO of the state-owned firm from the tugboat firm, the spokesman added. Jang, who started his career at KOGAS in 1983 before joining the tugboat company in 2011, could not be immediately reached for a comment. He sent a text message, saying he cannot answer the phone now and to please try later.
A spokesman at KOGAS, the world’s top corporate buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said the firm had no knowledge of the indictment. Asked if KOGAS will see a management change soon, he said: “Since Jang is not arrested, I don’t see any change yet until such thing happens.” Last week a South Korean district court rejected an application for an arrest warrant against Jang for allegedly taking bribes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A spokesman for the prosecutors’ office at that time said the office would continue to investigate the case. If he had been arrested, it would have been the second time in 11 years that a KOGAS head had been detained over bribery charges.
(1 = 1,098.1000 won)