The executive manager of the A.B. Won Pat Guam International Airport Authority has confirmed that Korean Air has paid the outstanding "passenger facility charge” the company owed to the airport authority.
“They made a payment (Wednesday) by wire transfer, in the amount of $491,000” Executive Manager Tom Ada said Friday. “That settles the case,” he said.
An audit report released March 31 by the Office of Public Accountability found that there was a $446,000 shortfall in the "passenger facility charge” over a period of three years, from 2016 to 2018.
The passenger facility charge is mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Every passenger pays it when purchasing an airline ticket.
The audit report issued by the Guam Office of Public Accountability characterized the shortfall as “embezzlement” and Ada has previously confirmed that Korean Air's former Guam-based manager is the subject of the embezzlement allegation. He declined to name the individual, but said that it is his understanding that he has “fled to the mainland U.S.”
The Korean Times reports that Korean Air has “registered the missing former manager with Interpol.”
The OPA audit states that a tip called into the agency’s hotline prompted an external audit, which identified the shortfall amount by comparing passenger arrival manifests with the amounts paid by Korean Air to the airport.
Ada said that GIAA Comptroller John Rios “became suspicious” late last year when he noticed that the passenger facility charge paid by Korean Air was declining while the number of visitors brought to Guam by the airline was increasing.