Two lawmakers indicted in Kangwon Land scandal

    Two lawmakers from the main opposition party in South Korea have been indicted in connection with a job placement scandal at Kangwon Land, local media reports.

    Representatives Kweon Seong-dong and Yeom Dong-yeol were charged with abuse of power and business interference, but were not detained.

    They are accused of requesting illegal favors in the selection of trainees at the casino and exerting pressure for their acquaintances to be hired between November 2012 and April of 2013.

    Kangwon Land is the only casino in South Korea where locals are permitted to gamble.

    Kweon and Yeom are suspected of helping 39 and 11 trainees, respectively. Kweon is also facing allegations he exerted influence for his secretary and a high school alumnus to be hired at Kangwon Land as an employee or an outside director.

    KBS World Radio said the prosecution initially sought to arrest the two lawmakers but parliament refused to give consent to arrest Yeom, while the court dismissed an arrest warrant request for Kweon.

    Under law, incumbent lawmakers cannot be arrested or detained without parliament’s consent as they hold immunity while the National Assembly is in session.

    In March, the government decided to fire all 226 employees of Kangwon Land who were found to have obtained their jobs through nepotism.

    Last year, Kangwon Land admitted that between July 2011 and February 2014, 95 percent of all staff hired – some 493 people – were selected either for their political connections or because of their personal relationship to former CEO Choi Heung-jip.