Foreign English Teachers Accuse Gyeongi-do School of Wage Skimming

It makes me wonder how many other Korean schools over the years have been conducting illegal wage skimming of foreign English teachers as well?:

Kyonggi Elementary School has been accused of skimming the wages of eight foreign teachers over several years with a contract clause that turned out to be illegal.

The wages that were taken from the native English teachers amounted to 45 million won ($40,240), with some losing more than 10 million won, according to labor attorney Jung Bong-soo, who represents the victims. They filed a collective complaint with the Seoul Regional Ministry of Employment and Labor in March, demanding reimbursement of their losses and replacing current contracts with “fair” ones.

The skimmed income ― 10 percent of their hourly wage ― was transferred to an independent Korean recruiter, who searched for and hired native English teachers on behalf of the private school in Seodaemun, northwestern Seoul.

The recruiter, surnamed Joo, is known to have introduced himself as a school adviser and is said to have drafted the contracts, including the controversial clause. The victims said they had signed their contracts not knowing the clause enforcing the monthly deduction was illegal. Under Korean employment law, giving recruiters a portion of a person’s first salary as an “introduction fee” is legal, but recruiters are not allowed to make regular deductions.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at at the link.

Park Geun-hye’s Lawyer States Prosecution Mostly Using News Articles as Evidence

I am not a lawyer so I am wondering if anyone who is a lawyer knows if news media articles can be considered evidence in a US court?  If so how strong of evidence would that be?:

Former President Park Geun-hye attended her first court hearing over the corruption scandal that removed her from office and denied all charges against her, Tuesday.

This is the first time in 53 days that she has made a public appearance since she was arrested, March 31.

Handcuffed and with her trademark hairstyle, Park arrived at the Seoul Central District Court before entering the courtroom at 10 a.m.

Park and her confidant of 40 years Choi Soon-sil saw each other for the first time in eight months since Choi left for Germany last September after the corruption scandal broke out.

Park entered the courtroom first and sat looking straight ahead not turning her head even the slightest, while Choi entered the courtroom and sat two seats away from her, next to her attorney Lee Kyung-jae.

When asked by presiding Judge Kim Se-yun, on her current occupation, Park said, “I don’t have an occupation.”

When offered a chance to speak, Choi whimpered and said, “I am a sinner for having Park whom I’ve been close to for more than 40 years stand trial.”

“I do not believe Park was involved in any criminal activities, bribery or otherwise. I think the prosecution is pushing this too far, and I wish the court would clear her of the suspected wrongdoings thereby letting her remain as the president who devoted her life to the country.”

Choi blamed her former associate Park Won-oh, a former head of the Korea Equestrian Federation, over allegations that Samsung offered financial support for her daughter, the former dressage competitor Chung Yoo-ra.

“My daughter already had her own horse when she was in Germany. Then Park asked Samsung for support and Samsung bought a horse and a car. I can take responsibility for that, but not the charges by the prosecution that the support for my daughter was in return for the government-backed merger of Samsung’s two units,” she said.

Park’s defense attorney Yoo Young-ha said the charges against her lacked foundation and largely relied on imagination, inference and media reports.

“Most of the evidence submitted by the prosecution is news articles. The prosecution determined news reports valid as evidence in a criminal case,” he said.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

US Soldier Accused of Stealing Three HMMWVs in South Korea

It just seems that this is a pretty bold theft to try and pull off with little reward when they were trying to sell the HMMWVs for $10,000 a piece:

An American soldier and six South Korean civilians have been accused of stealing three Humvees from an unnamed U.S. base in South Korea and trying to sell them.

A U.S. soldier and six South Korean civilians have been accused of being part of a ring that stole three Humvees from a U.S. base in South Korea and tried to sell them, police said Thursday.

The soldier, identified only as a 47-year-old Korean-American man, allegedly conspired with the others to arrange for three Humvees to be stolen from the base in June and September of last year, police said.

The thefts were carried out by camouflaging the vehicles to appear as unused items, said Kim Dong Hwan, chief detective of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s international crime investigation unit.

“The soldier insists that he was not trying to steal the vehicles with the rest of the guys,” Kim told Stars and Stripes. “The Koreans kept denying what they did at first. But they’ve been saying lately that they attempted to sell the Humvees.”

Kim said it was the first time police have uncovered a ring trafficking in stolen Humvees in South Korea.

The suspects — who also included a civilian contractor working on the base, three junk dealers, a film-prop maker and an intermediary — have been booked without detention.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Korean Man Arrested for Labeling American Lobsters as Canadian

These are not the lobsters you are looking for……:

A South Korean importer has been arrested for selling American lobsters under a Canadian label for two and a half years, the South Regional Headquarters of the Korea Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The importer, identified only as 53-year-old Kim, is accused of importing 18 tons of American lobsters worth 2.13 billion won (US$1.9 million) in 321 shipments from September 2014 to March this year and selling them to local restaurants as more expensive Canadian products, the maritime police agency said.

Kim earned about 2.6 billion won from the alleged fraud, as American lobsters are about 20 percent cheaper than their Canadian counterparts in the local market, the agency added.

The agency noted that Kim replaced the origin labels of imported lobsters and fabricated the relevant documents to sell them as Canadian products to local restaurant owners.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Choi Soon-sil and Park Guen-hye To Stand Trial Together

It will be interesting to see how this trial turns out that begins on May 23rd with both former President Park and her alleged partner in corruption Choi Soon-sil standing trial together:

Choi Soon-sil

The charges mostly center on an extortion racket Park and Choi allegedly ran out of Cheong Wa Dae by using two dubious nonprofits Choi set up and staffed with her drinking buddies.

The trial proper starts on May 23 and will bring the two women together for the first time since their schemes started to unravel last autumn and Choi fled abroad. The court rejected a request by Choi to be tried separately.

Choi’s lawyer Lee Kyung-jae, in a typically florid submission, said his client feels “unbearable shame” at having to stand trial next to Park, whom she respected for many years. Lee added the prospect is tantamount to the pain of “gouging out her own eyes.” [Chosun Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

South Korean Diplomat Convicted for Taking Indecent Photos of Women

Another creepy ajushi in the Seoul diplomatic corps is in trouble:

A South Korean diplomat has been convicted of taking indecent photos of women.

Seoul Western District Court fined the lawyer-turned-diplomat, 38, identified only as Kim, 70 million won and ordered him to take a 40-hour education program on sexual crimes.

He was apprehended on Aug. 5 last year for taking photos up the skirt of a woman on a bus. Police later confirmed that he had used his smartphone to take photos up women’s skirts 16 times between April 2015 and August last year. One photo was taken in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lobby in Seoul.  [Korea Times]

Australian Arrested at Incheon Airport After Putting Graffiti On A Seoul Subway Car

What an idiot:

An Australian, whose identity is unknown, has been arrested for defacing a subway car, according to Suseo Police Station Sunday.

According to police, the man, 22, and his girlfriend arrived on Mar. 27, and stayed at a hotel near Hongik University.

The man broke into Gangnam Subway Depot and drew graffiti on a subway car on Apr. 1, after being told wrongly he could do this.

He left for Japan the next day, but was arrested on Sunday after stopping at Incheon International Airport for a flight back to Australia.  [Korea Times]

I wonder if this guy is friends with the group of Australians that defaced these Seoul subway cars two years ago?

English Teacher Arrested for Taking Down Korean Presidential Election Banner on His House

You would think the police in Seoul would have better things to do instead of arresting this guy for taking a banner down off of his home:

Police have booked an American man, 64, who works as a part-time English instructor at Hongik University, for allegedly vandalizing a presidential campaign poster.

Under Korean election law, unlawfully removing or vandalizing a political campaign poster can lead to a two-year jail term or a fine of 4 million won ($ 3,500).

Mapo Police Station said on Monday the man allegedly tried to remove a poster from the side of his house on Apr. 21. His neighbors tried to stop him but he repeatedly said “my home” and continued to dismantle the poster before being arrested.

It is unclear whether the neighbors explained clearly to the suspect that removing an election poster is against the law. The man is known to have told police he did not know it was unlawful. [Korea Times]

There is probably more to this story, but on the surface it seems if someone puts a banner on your house you should be able to take it down if you don’t want it there.

Korean Police Arrest Man Who Robbed Bank with Homemade Gun

Here is something you don’t see happen very often in South Korea, a bank robbery:

This photo, provided by an anonymous citizen, shows the suspect Kim minutes before he carries out a bank heist in Gyeongsan, North Gyeongsang Province, southeast of Seoul, on April 20, 2017. (Yonhap)

Police said Saturday it has arrested a suspect in an armed bank robbery that took place in the country’s southeastern provincial county two days earlier.

The Gyeongsan Police Station in North Gyeongsang Province said it caught a 43-year-old man, identified only by his last name Kim, at a parking lot of a large accommodation facility in Danyang, North Chungcheong Province, at around 6:47 p.m.

Police had suspected the robber may be a foreigner as one of the bank employees claimed he had a poor Korean accent, but it turned out that he was a native.

Kim is suspected of robbing a branch of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, also known as Nonghyup, in a county in Gyeongsan early Thursday, threatening the employees at gunpoint and fleeing the scene on a bicycle with some 15.6 million won (US$13,700) in cash, all of which took him only four minutes.

During the heist, he apparently fired one shot from what the police believe to be a homemade gun, but no one was hurt as it was aimed at the wall. [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but as expected the man was tracked down by piecing together camera footage from neighborhood cc cameras.

Korean-American Woman Sues Ex-Boyfriend for Secretly Giving Her Birth Control Pills

Just in case anyone has any ideas about trying something like this you may want to read below because you can be held legally accountable:

A Korean-American woman is suing her ex-boyfriend for secretly dosing her with birth control pills.

The woman, 36, surnamed Hyo, filed a compensation suit for $5 million to her American ex-boyfriend, a neuroradiology doctor, for allegedly feeding her “Plan B One-Step” without her knowledge, according to The New York Post.

Hyo confronted her ex-boyfriend last May when she found an empty birth control pill box inside a trash bin.

“I knew you would not consent to taking birth control pills voluntarily, so I resorted to using this method,” the man allegedly confessed after admitting that he had been dissolving the pills in her juice.

The two broke up after the incident.

Plan B One Step is a birth control pill that can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex and can be bought only with a doctor-signed prescription.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.