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South Korean court turns down request to arrest for Shinhan Financial executive

A court in South Korea denied a prosecution request for a warrant to arrest Shinhan Financial Group Co. Ltd. CEO and President Cho Yong-byoung amid his suspected involvement into the company's hiring malpractices, Yonhap News Agency reported Oct. 11.

The Seoul Eastern District Court said Cho presents a low risk of fleeing or destroying evidence, given his social and residential status.

Cho is accused of having officials offer undue favors to job applicants who were either children or relatives of influential people while he was serving as head of the group's unit, Shinhan Bank Co. Ltd., from 2015 to 2017. He also allegedly gave favors to families of the bank's former executives.

In May, prosecutors launched a criminal investigation into alleged hiring irregularities at Shinhan Financial. The allegations were brought by South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service, which found 22 cases of alleged irregularities at its banking unit and the group's life insurance and credit card units.

Investigators then searched Shinhan Bank's human resources and inspection departments to confiscate evidence a month later.