An investigative journalism organization in Seoul reported nearly 200 South Korean individuals were listed in the Panama Papers. The list is to be verified by Seoul’s National Tax Service. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
SEOUL, April 5 (UPI) -- More than 190 South Korean nationals are among those listed in the leaked files known as the Panama Papers.
The list, which is to be verified by Seoul's National Tax Service, include the eldest son of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, according to Newstapa, a website operated by the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism, one of several global news organizations that worked on the Panama Papers.
The joint investigation has produced 11 million leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Roh Jae-heon, 50, had allegedly created three offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands in May 2012, Yonhap news agency reported.
The firms were each founded with the issuance of a $1 share of stock, and all three companies were located at an address shared by thousands of other offshore companies.
The companies One Asia International, GCI Asia and Luxes International all have a "complex ownership structure," Newstapa reported.
Roh had listed an address in Hong Kong, and resigned from the directorship of the companies in May 2013, according to the documents. A Mr. Chen Kai and a Mr. Kim Jeong-hwan later filled the position, but their nationalities were not confirmed, according to South Korea press.
Roh has issued a response to the leaked documents and defended his decision to establish the offshore companies.
Roh told reporters the firms were established for "business purposes" and for personal reasons, including divorce.
"I never did anything with the companies," Roh said.
South Korea's tax agency is to launch an investigation into the list of individuals in the documents and determine whether they are to be charged with tax evasion.
Roh Tae-woo served as president of South Korea from 1988 to 1993.