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South Korea targets lawmakers in latest anti-graft proposal

[SEOUL] South Korea is seeking to ratchet up penalties against lawmakers who increase their wealth by leveraging secrets obtained in office.

A bill that slaps up to sevens years imprisonment or a 70 million won (S$80,900) fine will be submitted to parliament for legislation by the end of this year, according to the website of the government-affiliated Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission in Sejong, South Korea.

The proposal tightens regulations put in effect by an anti-bribery law passed in 2015. That set a limit on the amount of money in goods and services that government officials, journalists, teachers and their spouses could receive, but it excluded legislators.

Yonhap News reported last month that prosecutors indicted a lawmaker on charges of illegally buying real estate under the names of her acquaintances in a neighbourhood that the government had a confidential plan to re-develop. She denied the charges.