Cho Hyun-min, former senior vice president of Korean Air / Courtesy of Korean Air

Former Korean Air executive questioned due to car accident

A member of Hanjin Group tycoon family grabs the headlines once again after being questioned by police this week. This time around, however, it is not about serious charges.

Cho Hyun-min, former senior vice president of Korean Air, was questioned by police on May 21 after being involved in a car crash in Seoul. Korean Air is the country’s leading flag carrier.

Police said that a Tesla vehicle driven by Cho rear-ended a white Sonata sedan near Seoul Square. The two cars were damaged, and the two drivers had light injuries.

Cho told police that the accident took place as the 36-year-old failed to slow down her car after the Sonata car stopped in front of her as the traffic light changed from green to yellow.

Police officials said that Cho admitted her mistake. She is not likely to have any big trouble due to the crash because she was not drunk driving.

She is the younger sister of Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of late Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho. The older Cho, better known as Heather, is infamous due to the so-called nutgate.

In late 2014, she ordered a Korean Air aircraft to return to the gate just before takeoff in the United States, taking issue with the way peanuts were served. Eventually, the flight was delayed around 20 minutes.

During the process, she had a heated confrontation with the cabin crew chief. She ordered him off the plane and even physically assaulted him.

Due to the incident, she ended up on the wrong side of the bars for five months as she was found guilty in the Korean court of obstructing aviation.

In addition, she faces another trial over charges of having smuggled luxury goods and furniture through customs since early 2009.

As far as high-handed behavior is concerned, the younger Cho, who is also known as Emily, is as infamous as her sister – she angered the nation with a “water-wage” incident.

Early last year, she had a meeting with employees of an advertising agency. Unhappy with the way a participant answers her question, she allegedly flung water at the employee.

Back then, people came up with online petitions on the website of the presidential house demanding she should be punished. Eventually, the prosecution did not indict her as two victims asked not to punish her.


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