Samsung boss arrested in South Korean bribery scandal

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Samsung’s heir arrested in South Korea

17 February 2017

South Korean police have arrested the heir to the Samsung empire JY Lee.

The arrest is in connection with an ongoing corruption scandal which led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

Al Jazeera’s Gerald Tan reports.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

South Korea: Acting Samsung head arrested for alleged bribery

Saturday 18th February 2017

BUSINESS circles were taken aback yesterday by the arrest of the effective boss of Samsung for alleged involvement in a massive South Korean state corruption scandal.

Lee Jae Yong, a vice-chairman at Samsung Electronics and the only son of the ailing Samsung chairman, is accused of giving bribes worth £29 million to President Park Geun Hye and her close friend.

He wanted to enlist government support for a smooth company leadership transition, including a contentious merger of two Samsung companies.

Heads of transnational corporations such as Hyundai Motor Group and SK Group have been jailed before but continued to run their companies from behind bars.

Mr Lee is not the first member of South Korea’s richest family to face criminal charges.

His father Lee Kun Hee was convicted in 2008 and 2009 for embezzlement and tax evasion related to business dealings designed to pass down wealth to his son.

Mr Lee senior, the ailing chairman, stepped away from his role at the company when prosecutors indicted him in 2008.

His son will probably follow a similar course and stay away from a leadership role once investigators formally bring charges against him.

The younger Mr Lee was seen as the new face of Samsung, fluent in foreign languages and educated overseas, but these allegations, if proven, may damage his reputation irreparably.

He has amassed a personal fortune of over £4 billion, largely as the result of buying Samsung securities at illegally cheap prices before unloading them later with huge returns.

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