The Korea Herald


Prosecution raid ministries over housing price data manipulation allegations

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : Oct. 5, 2023 - 17:11

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The prosecution on Thursday raided the Ministries of Land and Finance, Statistics Korea and the Korea Real Estate Board over allegations that the previous Moon Jae-in administration manipulated statistics on housing prices.

The move came after the Board of Audit and Inspection requested an investigation into allegations that Moon's presidential office and the Land Ministry at that time of his presidency abused their power and forced the Korea Real Estate Board to manipulate figures in a weekly survey of national housing price trends.

The BAI claimed that the Land Ministry received statistics from the Real Estate Board and forced the agency to lower the rate of housing price growth to demonstrate the efficacy of the then-government's housing policies.

The Board of Audit and Inspection confirmed that of the 230 announcements made in the weekly survey from June 2017 to November 2021, at least 94 were falsified.

From June 2017 to June 2021, when the real estate market was overheated, the Moon administration announced measures to address the issues 27 times.

The BAI also requested an investigation into 22 individuals, including former presidential policy chiefs Jang Ha-sung, Kim Soo-hyun, Kim Sang-jo, Lee Ho-seung, former Senior Economic Secretary Hong Jang-pyo and former Land Minister Kim Hyun-mi, on charges of violating the Statistics Act, abuse of power and obstruction of the exercise of rights.

Given that Statistics Korea is located in Daejeon, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office assigned the case to the Daejeon District Prosecutors’ Office.