President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday ordered an expanded probe into allegations of land speculation involving former and incumbent officials of a state housing corporation.
This comes after two civic groups accused 14 employees at the Korea Land and Housing Corporation of buying undeveloped land in the cities of Gwangmyeong and Siheung in Gyeonggi-do Province before they were designated as development zones.
"President Moon has ordered a complete list of land transactions by the employees of the land ministry, LH and other related public institutions and their families not only in the two cities but also in other Gyeonggi-do Province regions picked for development plans."
The LH employees and their family members are suspected of using internal information to buy 23-thousand square meters of property in the two cities for around 9 million U.S. dollars between April 2018 and June 2020.
They are also alleged to have had inside knowledge regarding compensation for when the government seeks to acquire land there.
LH has suspended a dozen of its officials from duty.
The land ministry recently named Gwangmyeong and Siheung as the site for roughly 70-thousand new homes to address growing demand and cool down the property market.
Other cities on the list for development include Namyangju and Hanam in Gyeonggi-do Province.
The prime minister's office will conduct the investigation jointly with the land ministry.
The top office said that sufficient personnel will be deployed to leave no stone unturned and that any illegal act will be dealt with severely.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.