Air Force looking into alleged preferential treatment for serviceman
SEOUL, Military authorities launched an investigation Monday into allegations that an enlisted Air Force serviceman has enjoyed preferential treatment thanks to his father’s influence and wealth, officials said.
The probe began after an online petition at the presidential office website Thursday claimed that the conscript serving at the Air Defense Missile Command in Seoul has enjoyed a variety of privileges, including having a noncommissioned officer do errands for him.
Some media reports said he is a son of a vice chairman of a major credit information service provider.
According to the petition, the enlistee has allegedly been allowed to have a family assistant get his laundry washed outside of the barracks and bring it back every week, and a noncommissioned officer was forced to play a “delivery” role between them.
The petitioner identified himself as an officer of the unit.
The airman also allegedly used a room of his own at the barracks due to conflicts with colleagues, which the petitioner said was an “unprecedented case.” A barracks room is usually shared by around six to eight people.
The petitioner also claimed that the conscript made off-installation travels citing medical treatment, but he appears to have dined with his family while off base.
“We’ve been doing internal inspections since Friday. In addition to that, military police launched a formal investigation into such suspicions as his leaving of the base without permission,” an Air Force officer said.
Earlier in the day, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Won In-choul held an emergency meeting involving major commanders over the issue and called for a thorough probe and stern punishment for any wrongdoings.
“We know that this issue has drawn keen public interests so that we will announce the results once the probe is completed,” Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Cho Se-young told a regular briefing.
The airman is currently on vacation to receive treatment for a skin ailment, but the Air Force claimed that it has been carrying out the probe “normally.”
Source: Yonhap News Agency