By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- More than a dozen of second- or third-generation scions of South Korean family-owned conglomerates have been indicted on charges of habitually using and selling marijuana, prosecutors said Thursday.
Among them are a 40-year-old man surnamed Hong, a grandson of major dairy firm Namyang Dairy Products Co. founder Hong Doo-young, and a 39-year-old man surnamed Cho, a grandson of the Hyosung Group founder, the Seoul Central Prosecutors Office said.
Another suspect surnamed Hong, a grandson of steel manufacturer Kiswire Corp., and a son of Daechang Group founder surnamed Lee were also indicted on charges of using and distributing the illegal drug.
Prosecutors said the suspects, most of whom come from wealthy families, first used marijuana when they were studying abroad. After returning to the country, they allegedly created their own supply chain to purchase marijuana.
The suspected purchases of marijuana came to light after a dealer, only identified by his surname Kim, was arrested by police last September on charges of growing marijuana.
Prosecutors have since expanded an investigation to find the buyers by tracing down parcel service and remittance record.