LH to Launch ‘Anti-Cartel’ Headquarters in Response to Poor Parking Lot Construction


SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) — The state-run Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH) announced Wednesday it will create an “anti-cartel” headquarters within its organization to combat malpractices at construction sites following the discovery of shoddy work on underground parking lots at apartment complexes built under its contracts.

The decision comes as the government has been investigating the insufficient use of metal bars in building underground parking lots at numerous apartment complexes across the country. The probe was launched after one of the LH-led construction sites in Incheon, 27 kilometers west of Seoul, collapsed in April.

“I apologize for the unfortunate incident that happened at LH apartment complexes, which should have been the safest place for people,” LH President Lee Han-joon said in a press conference.

“We will take the strongest measures with the understanding that there will be no future for LH if we fail to establish construction safety this time,” he added.

Lee Han-joon, president at the state-run Korea Land & Housing Corp. (LH), speaks during a press conference in Seoul on Aug. 2, 2023. (Yonhap)

The anti-cartel department will be based at LH’s southern regional headquarters in Gyeonggi Province and be responsible for eradicating all types of malpractices or corrupt activities that might take place during construction, such as collusion in the purchases of construction parts, unfair selection of design and irregularities in contracts, LH said.

Lee said that LH will also consider barring any subcontractors from construction projects if they are found to be the cause of or involved in malpractices.

LH said it will file complaints with the police seeking investigations into the companies responsible for 15 construction sites found to have been built with fewer reinforcement bars, an outcome determined by the land ministry after a probe.

The overhaul plans come a day after President Yoon Suk Yeol vowed to eliminate such cartels in the construction industry and ordered thorough safety checks on all suspected cases and countermeasures to ensure residents’ safety.


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