Hanwha Vice President Kim Dong-won, left, and former SPC Vice President Hur Hee-soo/Courtesy of Hanwha Life & SPC

Hanwha heir punished for drug use

One of the most-read stories of last month was about Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin, who is accused of having taken an addictive drug of propofol, which cannot be administered for recreational purposes.

A former nurse at a cosmetic clinic in southern Seoul claimed that Lee took propofol shots for non-medical purposes in 2016. Lee countered that she visited the hospital at issue for legitimate treatment.

The police started investigations into the case to check which side is lying. If the nurse’s remarks are true, the Samsung Group heiress might be subject to criminal charges.

Propofol is a short-acting and sedative-hypnotic agent, which induces and maintains anesthesia. Korea classified it as a psychotropic drug in 2011 because its misuse can be fatal.

In fact, Korean conglomerates otherwise called chaebol have an assorted history with drugs like Kim Dong-won, the second son of Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn.

Kim was found to have smoked cannabis four times, which were smuggled by U.S. Forces Korea. The Yale University graduate, who currently works at Hanwha Life Insurance, got a jail term suspended for two years.

Besides, he was ordered to attend sessions aimed at dealing with drug addicts. Three years earlier, he was fined around $6,000 for fleeing the scene of a car crash.

Kim is a grandson of Hanwha Group founder Kim Chong-hee. Hanwha is a multi-profile business conglomerate whose interests range from explosives to retail and financial services.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.