CHUNCHEON, May 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Four white collar workers have been arrested by the police on charges of buying and selling 100 million won (US$ 92,500) worth of cigarettes to benefit from Korea’s tobacco price hikes.
According to the Chuncheon Police Agency, the four men were working at the same company, and gathered 100 million won before December 2014. They employed 7 ‘part-time workers’ to buy about 6,000 cartons of cigarettes from small retailers in Jeonju in December 2014.
They then parceled out 3,000 cartons to convenience stores around the nation and gained 30 million won (US$ 27,750) in profits.
The suspects reportedly stored the cartons at one of the culprits’ houses, and sent text messages to owners of convenience stores whose phone numbers could be found on online job portals, to lure them into buying cheap cigarettes and selling them at prices set by the Korean government.
The four men were hoping to make 1,000 won (US$ 0.9) in profit for each pack of cigarettes sold. Some convenience store owners were also in a position to gain 1,000 won for each pack of contraband.
The remaining 3,000 cartons have been seized and are being held by the police.
By M. H. Lee (email@example.com)