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제목 [No. 217 Social News] The LH Employee’s Suspicion of New Town Speculation and Government Actions
카테고리 SocialNews

The LH Employee’s Suspicion of New Town Speculation and Government Actions

 

Cheongdae Times Senior Reporter of International Affairs Seong-won Kim

 

March 2021, the suspicion that employees of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation (LH) speculated collectively in areas related to LH’s business plan, including the 3rdnewtown,causedahugesocialimpact.

 

The Korea Land and Housing Corporation is a public enterprise which was established in 2009 by combining the Korea Land Corporation and the Korea National Housing Corporation to contribute to the development of the national economy through the improvement of national housing life and efficient use of land,

 

lh.or.kr

CI of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation

 

LH’s employees, who have to work for national benefits according to the purpose of the establishment of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation were suspected of speculative purchases of about 10 billion won in Gwangmyeong and Siheung new towns which are the largest new towns of the current government’s three new towns.

 

Furthermore, it has been found that 5.8 billion won, which is more than half of the 10 billion won purchased by LH’s employees, is the amount of loans, causing controversy.

 

In particular, the majority of LH’s employees who were embroiled in the speculation were known to have taken out large scale loans from the branch of the north Siheung Agricultural Cooperative Federation, which became a problem.

 

In this regard, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation denied that there was any expedient loan to LH’s employees, but the government’s position was different. Hong Nam-ki, the deputy prime minister for economic affairs and the Minister of ministry of Economy and Finance, said “the LH speculation incident was possible because large scale loans were collectively and intensively made at certain branches of the bank. Therefore, we need to check whether there are any blind spots or supplementary points”.

 

After Hong Nam-ki’s announcement, the Financial Supervisory Service launched an investigation into the financial sector with the National Office of Investigation.

 

As such suspicions continued to escalate, the public was furious and said “the real estate speculation in the new town is not just a matter for employees of the Korea Land and Housing Corporation but also all officials and public corporations including the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.”

 

As calls continued to condemn officials and employees of public enterprises related to real estate speculation, the government launched an investigation centered on the National Office of Investigation. On March 9th, police confiscated LH headquarters in Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, and on the 17th, they confiscated and searched the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

 

In addition, police announced that they would confiscate National Agency for Administrative City Construction and Sejong Special Self-Governing City. Also, the National Office of Investigation announced that they could investigate not only the Gwangmyeong and Siheung new towns where real estate speculation was raised, but also those currently under development, in areas like Changneung, Wangsuk, Gwacheon new towns.

 

When the investigation related to speculation was launched, the President Moon ordered “The investigation and research should be conducted at the same time, and the investigation team should hand over the results of the investigation to the National Office of Investigation immediately.”

 

However, there are many people’s worried about the government’s actions. That’s because if the investigation and research conducted at the same time, evidence is likely to be damaged in the process.

 

yna.co.kr

Police confiscated the headquarter of LH

 

Furthermore, the agencies participating in the National Office of Investigation were announced as the National Police Agency, the National Tax Service and the Financial Services Commission, which has been controversial because the Prosecution Service was excluded.

 

It’s because the Prosecution Service has always participated in a case in which national attention was focused, and it’s not common sense to exclude the Prosecution Service with a lot of investigative experience and know-how. And police have no experience in investigating large scale economic corruption, so the public distrusts the National Office of Investigation.

 

It must be socially and ethically wrong for employees of LH to try to fill their pockets with internal information. Therefore, LH’s employees and related officials who have done illegal things must pay the price for the crime.

 

In order to them to pay for their crime, the National Office of Investigation will have to conduct a quick and thorough investigation, and it will have to make sure that something like this incident will not happen again.

 

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