SEOUL, South Korea — Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. has confirmed media reports that Chairman Cho Hyun-bum was arrested in early March on suspicion of illegal business activities.
In a filing with the Korea Stock Exchange, Hankook stated: "In relation to the above case, the prosecution conducted a search and seizure, and we actively cooperated with the investigation by the related authorities."
On March 6, the company said, the prosecutor's office requested an arrest warrant for Cho. This was subsequently issued by the Seoul Central District Court three days later.
Hankook did not elaborate further on the reasons for the arrest but did say it would "re-disclose" information about the matter "when specific facts are confirmed" or within one month of the filing.
Cho joined Hankook Tire in 1998, subsequently becoming the head of its marketing and business strategy divisions.
In 2018, he was appointed CEO of Hankook Tire, leading the company's large-scale investments in China, Hungary, and the U.S. He stepped down temporarily in 2020 as CEO of Hankook amid a previous investigation into illegal business activity.
Cho was named chairman of Hankook & Co. — the holding company for Hankook Tire — in late 2021 as part of a senior management reshuffle.