Reward at an all-time high of KRW 692.24 million paid to a public interest whistleblower
January 9, 2019
Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission
The Republic of Korea
A monetary reward at an all-time high of KRW 692.24 million was paid to a public interest whistleblower who submitted a report on collusion among manufacturing companies for a price increase and agreement, etc. to retain a certain level of market share.
The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC, Chairperson Pak Un Jong) paid monetary rewards, awards and relief amounting to KRW 849.17 million in total to 18 public interest whistleblowers who reported the collusion among manufacturing firms and violations of restrictions on qualifications of contractors, etc. of construction works. The amount of money restituted to local and central government coffers thanks to their reports reached KRW 65.498 billion or so.
The public interest whistleblower who received KRW 692.24 million in a monetary reward, the highest amount ever offered, reported to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), saying that “manufacturers have been in collusion to increase their product prices and make an agreement to retain their market shares above a certain level.” Following this report, the FTC levied a fine of KRW 64.459 billion to manufacturers concerned.
On top of this, a monetary award of KRW 106.39 million was paid to a whistleblower who reported constructors that violated the provision of restrictions of qualifications of contractors, etc. of construction works, KRW 10.78 million to a whistleblower who reported a plastic surgery center, etc. that put illegal advertisements, and KRW 3.7 million to a person who reported a company that polluted the river by discharging waste water illegally.
In addition to these monetary rewards and awards, relief money of KRW 1.4 million was paid to a person who moved his/her residence after feeling threatened since his/her report.
The Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau at the ACRC said that “it is difficult to bring infringements of public interests committed in secret to light without internal whistleblowers, so we will continue to offer sufficient rewards, etc. more actively to internal whistleblowers in order to facilitate public interest reporting.”