2,300 reports filed since introduction of anti-graft law

By Kim Bo-eun

The Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission said Tuesday it had received 2,311 reports since the anti-graft law went into effect last September.

The watchdog conducted an inspection of 23,852 public institutions in the six months since the implementation of the law, which subjects government officials, educators and journalists to limits on the value of meals and gifts received.

Among the reports, there were 412 cases of bribery and 135 cases of illicit requests.

In the case of bribery, voluntary reports from government officials accounted for 62 percent, while third-person reports took up 38 percent.

The officials who reported themselves returned various valuables ranging from liquor and gift certificates to 20 million won in cash.

Among the reports, 19 cases were referred to investigative authorities and 38 cases have been confirmed to violate the law and involved persons were fined.

Cases of illicit requests which have been accepted and face investigations include a professor providing credits for an absent student residing overseas and a public medical center allowing a certain patient to skip to the head of the line.

Cases of illicit requests which have become subject to fines include the chief of a fire station ordering a subordinate to overlook law violations of the station and a supplier requesting an inspector to approve their product.

There were cases of recipients allegedly asking for or taking valuables worth more than 1 million won who face investigations. They include a school sports coach requesting 8 million won from students’ parents as a retirement bonus and the guardian of a patient providing a public medical center worker with 5 million won. Another one is about a close acquaintance of a criminal suspect handing over 20 million won to the investigator in charge of the case.

There were also cases in which the recipients or providers of valuables worth less than 1 million won face fines. They include a government official supervising a construction site accepting 1 million won from a construction company and a parent providing the homeroom teacher of his or her child with a gift certificate worth 100,000 won.

So far, the watchdog has processed 7,233 out of 13,891 questions on the interpretation of the anti-graft law and also taken 36,629 calls on the law on its 110 hotline.

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