Illegal drug use of namyang founder’s granddaughter
This is the sixth of a series, which highlights Korea’s wealthy businesspeople who caused troubles related to drugs, alcohol, and power harassment called “gap-jil” here. _ ED.
Namyang Dairy Products is one of the major dairy manufacturers in South Korea. Hong Doo-young founded the Seoul-based company, which is currently headed by his eldest son of Chairman Hong Won-sik.
Namyang has come under fire over the past decade for several reasons _ it repeatedly tried to disparage its rival companies through suspicious PR maneuvers or rumors, according to reports.
Most recently, Namyang posted an apology on its website this month as Chairman Hong and other officials are under police investigations due to such charges as libel.
According to the police, a PR agency posted malignant comments against Namyang’s competitor on online communities en masse. Namyang paid the agency.
In 2013, Namyang created nationwide anger as its salesperson used abusive language to force its distributors to buy more Namyang products.
Back then, a video record, including the bad language, was disclosed to spark a boycott campaign. Consumers also show signs of boycotting Namyang products again this month.
Hwang Ha-na’s drug use
Namyang’s management would have little to do with Hwang Ha-na’s illegal drug use. But the case also negatively affected the brand image of Namyang.
Hwang is the granddaughter of Namyang founder Hong and niece of Chairman Hong Won-sik. She has not joined the management of the company, though.
In 2015, Hwang was booked on charges of trading and consuming illegal drugs. But she managed to avoid being indicted. In fact, the police never called in her for questioning.
But things were different in April 2019 when she was arrested and detained on suspicion that she used methamphetamine in 2015 and illegal drugs in 2018.
She was released in July 2019 when a district court sentenced her a one-year jail term suspended for two years. A high court upheld the ruling four months later.
Back then, the court warned the 31-year-old that she would be put behind bars in case she violates the narcotics law once again.
Of note is that Chairman Hong Won-sik came up with an online apology on June 5, 2019 when Hwang Ha-na’s first court hearing took place.
Chairman Hong blamed himself for failing to properly take care of his niece but said that she has nothing to do with Namyang’s management.