Samsung’s Chief Arrested for Corruption

In a recent corruption scandal in South Korea, Samsung's vice chairman, Lee Jae-Yong was arrested and imprisoned for two and a half years.

In recent events, the de facto chief of South Korea’s Samsung business empire was convicted and arrested on Monday over a huge corruption scandal and imprisoned for 2.5 years, in a ruling that deprives the tech giant of its authorities over Samsung.

Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electro­nics, the world’s biggest smartphone and memory chip maker, was found guilty and arrested for bribery and embezzlement in connection with the scandal that brought down president Park Geun-Hye.

According to Seoul Central District Court, Lee “actively provided bribes and implicitly asked the president to use her power to help his smooth succession” at the head of the sprawling conglomerate which is why he was arrested. 

“It is very unfortunate that Samsung, the country’s top company and proud global innovator, is repeatedly involved in crimes whenever there is a change in political power.” He was arrested and jailed for two and a half years, concluding a retrial that was the latest step in a long-running legal process that has hung over Samsung for years.

The multi-billionaire, Lee, was immediately taken into custody. He has effectively been at the head of the entire Samsung group for several years after his father was left bedridden by a heart attack, finally dying in October. “This is essentially a case where the freedom and property rights of a company were violated by the former president’s abuse of power,” Lee’s lawyer, Lee In-Jae, told reporters.

“Given the nature of the matter, I find the court’s ruling regrettable.” Samsung is by far the biggest of the family-controlled conglomerates, that dominate business in the world’s 12th-largest economy. Samsung is responsible for a fifth of South Korea’s GDP and is crucial for its economy to survive. The arrest of the vice-chairman can prove to be quite difficult for the state.

Moreover, “It’s really a huge blow and a big crisis for Samsung,” said Kim Dae-jong, a business professor at Sejong University addressing the arrest of the vice-chairman.

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