Park Geun-hye, the former president of South Korea, has been jailed for 24 years for her role in corruption involving political leaders and some of the country’s biggest companies.
A South Korean court ruled that Park colluded with a friend to receive a total of $13 million from major corporations. That money was then used to help the friend’s family and fund non-profit foundations.
Park, 66, had denied wrongdoing and was not present in court. She was also fined 18 billion won ($16.9 million) after being found guilty of charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion.
Another former president, Lee Myung-bak, has also been arrested on suspicion of bribery.
Aziz Rahman, founder of Rahman Ravelli, said the case was yet another indicator of the problems faced by both corporates and politically exposed persons (PEP’s) if they fail to take all necessary steps to prevent corruption.
He added: “Here we have one president imprisoned and fined, another under arrest and some of South Korea’s biggest companies implicated in a huge corruption scandal.
“The companies should have had procedures in place to prevent illegal payments being made. And those in public office have to be aware that they are not only under a duty to act in complete accordance with the law – they have to be aware of the severe consequences if they fail to do so.
“Politically exposed persons are now facing more scrutiny than ever before. The law in the UK and many other countries is tackling political corruption more efficiently than in previous years: recent investigations in Greece, Brazil and South Korea clearly indicate this.
“Political figures have to be aware of the risks and ensure they do not fall foul of the law.’’
Read our article: POLITICALLY EXPOSED PERSONS AND THE LEGAL RESTRICTIONS THEY FACE