SEOUL, Sept. 29 (Korea Bizwire) – The very first report of a violation of Korea’s new anti-graft law came around noon on Wednesday, with an anonymous person reporting a “college student giving a professor a can of coffee”.
The controversial law had gone into effect starting Wednesday amid confusion and doubts over the law’s ambiguous provisions.
The law makes it illegal for public officials, journalists, and private school faculty members to accept meals priced higher than 30,000 won (US$27), gifts exceeding 50,000 won, and congratulatory and condolence money over 100,000 won.
The police, however, said they would only dispatch officers when the amount of the ‘bribe’ (whether in gifts, cash, or meals) exceeds 1 million won. Furthermore, given that the first whistleblower demanded anonymity, the police asked the individual to file a written report instead.
Meanwhile, two other written reports were submitted on Wednesday, one of which involved Shin Yeon-hee, head of the Gangnam District Office.
Shin is accused of offering free meals and transport to some 160 chiefs of local senior citizen centers after inviting them to the district’s culture and art program. The police will be evaluating whether the chiefs and the circumstances are subject to the anti-graft law, then carry forward an official investigation.
Another report was from a police officer from the Gangwon Provincial Police Agency who reported himself after a civilian petitioner delivered him a box of rice cakes. The office has voluntarily handed in the goods to the agency.
By Lina Jang (email@example.com)