Bribery, corruption and lies….
Vice chairman at Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, has been arrested today in South Korea on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, connected to the scandal currently engulfing head of the country, President Park Geun-hye.
Park is accused of influence-peddling, whereby money has exchanged hands in return for favours. The FT reported that this includes Samsung being given approval by the country’s National Pension Service for a controversial $8 billion merger in 2015 between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, in return for political funding.
Both companies, owned by the Samsung family, helped the founding Lee family to consolidate control over Samsung Electronics, CNBC reported.
Also, Lee is accused of bribing the head of the country to the tune of around $37 million to smooth his succession and to consolidate control over major group units.
Lee’s arrest was carried out early this morning, the FT said. He is the highest profile business figure as yet tied to the presidential scandal. Prosecutors have a maximum of 10 days to decide what to do with him.
His arrest comes at a troubling time for the company, which is still attempting to recover, both financially and in reputation, from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle last year.