Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin, left, and HDC CEO Chung Mong-kyu shakes hands after agreeing to set up a joint venture, HDC Shilla, in this 2015 photo. Courtesy of HDC Shilla

Customs agency raids HDC Shilla

Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin suffers another setback as the Korea Customs Service raided HDC Shilla Duty Free, a joint venture between the hotel operator and Hyundai Development Company (HDC).

The billionaire businesswoman, also the eldest sister of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, was also accused of having taken an addictive drug for non-medical purposes.

Incheon Main Customs, a branch of the customs agency, made the raid earlier this week to the duty-free shop in Yongsan, central Seoul.

The customs agency did not elaborate on the reason why it made the measure because it is investigating the case.

However, a local media outlet reported that a former chief of HDC Shilla is suspected of having smuggled luxury goods.

HDC Shilla presents a duty-free shopping venue named Shilla I’Park Duty Free Shop. Hotel Shilla and HDC Group joined hands to set up the joint venture.

The former is Korea’s leading hotel operator and top brand of the country’s duty-free market. The latter is a global construction company based in Seoul.

The duty-free shop, which opened in late 2015 to exhibit hundreds of brands in fashion and beauty, is located at I’Park mall, a multi-purpose complex situated in central Seoul.

Yet, the customs agency’s raid is feared to hurt the image of the high-end duty-free shop.

And it is yet another bad news for Hotel Shilla CEO Lee – an online broadcaster claimed earlier this year that she received propofol shots for non-medical purposes.

Lee rebuffed the charge and police are investigating the case.

Because propofol is classified as a psychotropic drug in Korea, it is illegal to prescribe or consume the agent for recreational purposes.

If the propofol scandal proves to be true, the 49-year-old might be subject to criminal charges.

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