Seoul (ANTARA News/Yonhap) - President Lee Myung-bak instructed aides Monday to make sure to sternly punish those involved in illegal withdrawals of deposits from a soon-to-be-suspended savings bank, saying it is a case of ordinary people suffering from corruption by the influential and rich.

"Ordinary people, who do not have information and power, are suffering," Lee said at a meeting with senior presidential secretaries, according to spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung. "We have to thoroughly investigate those who received tips in advance and sternly punish those involved in the process."

Officials at the now-suspended Busan Savings Bank have been under investigation for allegedly tipping off their relatives and VIP customers about the institution`s impending suspension so that they could withdraw their money and avoid damage from the suspension.

The corruption scandal came as Lee has focused on boosting his image as a leader who cares for ordinary people while trying to narrow the gap between the rich and poor, and build a "fair society." Lee has repeatedly ordered a thorough probe into the scandal, expressing frustration about the moral lapses at financial institutions. (*)

Editor: Ella Syafputri
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