Coupang Struggles with Employee Theft | Be Korea-savvy

Coupang Struggles with Employee Theft

A file photo of a Coupang logistics center (Yonhap)

A file photo of a Coupang logistics center (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Korea Bizwire)Employee theft is becoming a major issue at e-commerce giant Coupang Inc.

A former Coupang employee surnamed Jang was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison on charges of theft and fraud, and is preparing an appeal, legal sources said Monday.

Jang was accused of stealing goods worth 100 million won (US$83,820) in total by abusing Coupang’s ordering system during the two years that he worked for the company starting in 2017.

The company issues an immediate refund as soon as the customer cancels an order prior to delivery, and Jang abused the fact that the whereabouts of the canceled products were hard to track.

Jang used a third person’s ID to order expensive goods like a laptop, cancel the order to get a refund and steal the canceled product from the delivery truck.

In September, the Seoul Eastern District Court sentenced 32-year-old former Coupang employee surnamed Lee to two years in prison on theft charges.

Lee was accused of stealing 784 million won worth of cellphones while working as a shipping manager at Coupang’s logistic center near Seoul in June of last year.

“Theft reflects the ethical problems borne by employees,” said Jung Yeon-sung, a professor of business administration at Dankook University. “Businesses that focus only on growth often face these kinds of problems for failing to keep their internal management in order.”

H. M. Kang (

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