Reports have revealed that customs officials have leaked private information of several well-known personalities, including popular actress Song Hye Kyo and singer Kim Tae Won.
On Sunday, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) reported: "We recently obtained customs declaration documents and photos of public figures from a whistleblower."
"From what we are aware, the documents were leaked by a customs official identified as Kim and his co-workers who were working at Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport at the time," SBS added. In August, Kim is said to have undergone investigations related to employee corruption at the Korea Customs Service.
Leaked documents include various important details
Reports have claimed that the leaked private information of celebrities include actress Song Hye Kyo, singer Kim Tae Won, soccer player and television personality Ahn Jung Hwan, executive vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Company Jeong Ui Seon, Korean-Japanese pianist Yang Bang Ean and former member of the Japanese national soccer team Hidetoshi Nakata.
The documents, which were leaked from 2011 to 2015, shows important personal information such as date of birth, address, phone number and passport number. This was mentioned in the customs declaration forms that were submitted upon arrival in Korea.
Punishable offence under the law
As per norms, the relevant department is supposed to discard the customs declaration forms within one month of collection. As per the Korea Customs Service, leaking those customs declaration forms is a clear violation of Clause 116 of the Customs Law relating to confidentiality of taxation information, as well as a violation of the Personal Information Protection Act and Clause 127 of criminal law pertaining to divulgence of classified information. In case of such an action, one can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail.
Speaking about this incident, SBS quoted the Korea Customs Service as saying: "We will investigate this matter and punish the involved employees according to the penal regulations."