South Korean Police Raid Korean Air Offices in ‘Office Rage’ Scandal

Hyo Kyung Kim, April 20, 2018, 8:34 a.m.

Police raided the headquarters of Korean Air on Friday amid a deepening scandal over the violent tantrums of Korean Air heiress Cho Hyun-min, the airline chairman's youngest daughter.

Police said the search was conducted to see if any attempts were made to force airline staff to cover up for Cho, whose anger management problems allegedly culminated in her throwing a bottle of water in an advertising staffer's face.

Cho has been indicted for assault over the incident, which has escalated into a major scandal after further revelations about her behavior at work. She has been suspended from her executive positions. Police seized two of Cho's mobile phones as well as computers of Korean Air executives who attended the meeting with the subcontracted advertising firm.

Earlier, police searched the ad agency and obtained recordings of the meeting. A police spokesman said, "There is a high level of public interest in this incident and concerns that relevant evidence may be destroyed or tampered with." But legal experts say that although Cho's actions may be morally reprehensible, police must not base their response on the level of public outrage.

Kang Shin-eop, a lawyer in Seoul, said, "Cho's actions deserve criticism from a social and ethical standpoint, but the charge itself is not that serious. It's abnormal for police to conduct a raid over a matter like this."

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