A former executive of South Korea's No. 1 shipping line has been found to set up a shell company in a tax haven, an independent news outlet reported Thursday in its latest revelation of a list of high-profile names suspected of tax evasion.
Kim Young-so, a former executive at Hanjin Shipping Co., set up a ghost company in the Samoan Islands, according to a report released by the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism (KCIJ) in its eighth round of relevations since last month.
According to the report, Kim established the paper company with Cho Yong-min, the former president of Hanjin Shipping Holdings Co., while he was working as the deputy head of the shipping conglomerate's Southwest Asia and Pacific Division in September 2001.
Cho was one of the names revealed by the KCIJ earlier, along with the incumbent chief executive of the shipping giant, Choi Eun-young.
Cho and Kim together obtained the ownership of the shell company through acquiring a firm already established by a broker. The Hong Kong-based UBS branch managed the acquisition, the report said.
In response to the findings, Kim apparently told the KCIJ that the company was set up at the request of his supervisor at that time and that he relinquished his shareholder status in 2009. But the KCIJ said he retained his position till the first half of 2010.
Meanwhile, the KCIJ said an affiliate of the state-run deposit insurer also operated three paper companies in 1999-2001, based in the most secretive tax haven, Labuan Islands, a federal territory of Malaysia.
The Korea Deposit Insurance Corp. came under fire last week when six of its former officials were included in the KCIJ's list. They apparently set up two ghost companies in the British Virgin Islands in 1999 to retrieve overseas assets held by then financially ailing companies where bailout funds were injected, the deposit insurer claimed.