SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s tax agency said Thursday it has launched another round of probe into suspected tax evasion by hundreds of people who sought to take profit from speculative or illegal property transactions.

The National Tax Service (NTS) said it has cracked down on 289 individuals and entities over alleged tax evasion.

It marked the second time that the agency has carried out investigations into property-related tax evasion this year since April.

The NTS said it has expanded the scope of the probe to look into property transactions involving 44 land development sites, as the country seeks to stem property speculative deals.

The probes came amid heightened public outcry over a land speculation scandal involving officials from Korea Land and Housing Corp. (LH), the public housing developer.

The government plans to require all public officials to report their asset status, including property holdings, and confiscate illegal gains from speculative real estate deals in a bid to root out property speculation by public servants.