SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) — Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said Thursday that the government will come up with measures to prevent and redeem what are deemed to be “unusually excessive” gains from land development projects in the wake of the escalating scandal over a corruption-laden urban development project near Seoul.
A prosecution probe is under way into how a little-known asset management firm, Hwacheon Daeyu, and its seven affiliates reaped profits worth 1,000 times its investment in an apartment development project in the city of Seongnam in 2015.
The case has come under intense media coverage as Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung, who is now the ruling Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, was the city’s mayor at that time, and Yoo Dong-gyu, one of his close aides, was arrested earlier this month on alleged bribe-taking and breach of trust.
“It is necessary to prevent and curb excessive profits or unearned income regarding land development or housing construction projects,” Hong said during a parliamentary audit session.
“We will have close consultations with ministries concerned to revise related policies and to devise necessary countermeasures. The government will take steps to unveil them as early as next month,” he added.
Real estate has been one of the most sensitive issues in South Korea amid strong public discontent with skyrocketing home prices over the past couple of years.