Police are carrying out a preliminary probe into allegations that Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho made security personnel hired by one of the conglomerate's affiliates work at his home at the expense of the company, they said Wednesday.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said it started an investigation last week.
The staffs claimed that their contract stipulated that they be stationed to work at Jungseok Enterprise, a real-estate management arm of Hanjin, but were actually sent to work at Cho's home.
The police said while they have not yet found concrete evidence behind the suspicion, they will start an official investigation after looking into the expenditure history of Jungseok Enterprise.
Hanjin Group said while Jungseok Enterprise had paid for the security staff in the past, the chairman is currently paying for all personal expenses.
The Cho family has been the focus of a series of investigations after the chairman's youngest daughter, Cho Hyun-min, a former executive of Korean Air Lines Co. under Hanjin, was recently accused of assaulting an ad agency official.
Hyun-min is the younger sister of Cho Hyun-ah, who gained global notoriety for the "nut rage" incident in 2014. She forced a plane back to the boarding gate at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport because she was upset with the way her nuts were served -- in an unopened bag instead of on a plate.
Lee Myung-hee, the director of Ilwoo Foundation and wife of the chairman, is also facing an investigation for alleged mistreatment of company staff and others under their purview.. (Yonhap News)