Problems with corruption in the South Korean police force have prompted the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency to demand that all officers in the Seoul area submit having their bank accounts and personal mobile telephone records monitored for illegal activity. Letters sent to Seoul’s 31 police stations demand that every officer sign a consent form allowing the SMPA to trace their personal information at will.
Before this new rule was put into place, a warrant is required for the SMPA to check in on their officers. This made it difficult for officials to investigate corruption among police officers. The major problem areas included police involvement in illegal sex businesses, and involvement with illegal gambling operations. There are around 34,000 police officers in the Seoul area that have become subject to the new rules.
These changes were initiated by Jo Hyun-oh, the directory of the SMPA, who seems determined to put an end to police corruption in South Korea. A one-month grace period has been put in place, during which time officers can voluntarily confess to any illegal activities or controversial acts they have committed, before such acts are discovered by investigators.
Unsurprisingly, South Korean police are upset by the idea of having their privacy invaded. One anonymous officer remarked: "It is ironic that the police officials, who should at all times abide by legal procedures and protect the basic rights of the citizens and criminals, are to have their own information exposed to authorities."
Gambling in South Korea was illegal from 1969 until 2000, when South Korean gambling laws
changed and the ban was partially lifted. Casinos and gambling halls have begun to open in Seoul and other areas, but underground gambling establishments still flourish. Online gambling in South Korea
is also an area of concern, because technically it is not allowed. Players continue to gamble at sites hosted offshore, however, since such sites are out of the jurisdiction of South Korean officials.