South Korea

    Criminal Act

    Articles 129 to 133 of the Criminal Act provide sanctions for public officials, arbitrators and persons that are engaged in acts of bribery. 

    Last Updated: July 30, 2019


  • Requirements

    Article 129 of the Criminal Act provides that a public official or an arbitrator is deemed to have committed an offence under the Act if they receive, demand or promise to accept a bribe in connection with their duties. This is also the case if the bribery takes place prior to them becoming a public official or arbitrator, if the bribe is in connection to the duty which they are to perform as public official or arbitrator. 

    In connection with Article 129, the Criminal Act stipulates that a person who promises, delivers or manifests a will to deliver a bribe, may be punished by the following (Article 133 of the Criminal Act): 

    • imprisonment for not more than 5 years; or 
    • a fine not exceeding KRW 20,000,000 (approx. €15, 140). 

    These sanctions also apply to a person who, for the purpose of committing bribery, delivers money or goods to a third party, or receives such delivery with the knowledge of its nature (Article 129(2) of the Criminal Act). 

    Furthermore, in accordance with Articles 131 and 132 of the Criminal Act, the following acts by a public official or an arbitrator are deemed offences under the Act: 

    • improper action after acceptance of a bribe and subsequent bribery; 
    • acceptance of a bribe through Good Offices. 
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