Samsung's Vice Chairman Is Under Arrest For A Massive Bribery Scandal

Alicia WestFeb 17, 2017

Samsung Group, South Korea's biggest business conglomerate, is on high alert on Friday as the group's de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, has been formally detained over his alleged role in a widening corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.

At issue is whether millions in donations Samsung made to two foundations controlled by President Park's friend and confidant, Choi Soon-sil, were bribes to get the South Korean pension fund to back a merger between two of Samsung Group's holding companies.

The decision to add extra charges, which included hiding assets overseas, was made after a Seoul court denied prosecutors' first attempt to secure an arrest warrant for Lee last month, a spokesman for the special prosecutor's office said.

He was already being held at a detention centre after appearing in court Thursday as judges deliberated whether to issue an arrest warrant.

Park, whose powers were suspended in December by parliament, is awaiting a decision by the Constitutional Court on whether she will be permanently removed from the presidency.

Prosecutors accuse Lee in his capacity as the head of South Korea's largest conglomerate of pledging 43 billion won ($37.7 million) to a business and organisations backed by Choi in exchange for support of a 2015 merger of two Samsung companies.

"It is very regrettable that the court granted an arrest warrant against Vice Chairman Lee, although there is no flight risk or destruction of evidences", a Samsung official said.

In seeking Lee's arrest for the second time, the prosecutors said the Samsung heir faces new charges in addition to bribery, embezzlement and lying under oath.

Still, Lee, who has been put under a travel ban, confirmed he had private meetings with Park and that Samsung had provided a horse worth 1 billion won that was used for equestrian lessons by Choi's daughter. The scandal has rocked South Korea with millions of people taking to the streets in protest. An approval would also help bring bribery charges against President Park.

They are also seeking the arrest of the president of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Park Sang-jin, who also heads the Korea Equestrian Federation and attended Thursday's hearing with Lee.

His arrest is likely to send shock waves through the group, which is a major part of the South Korean economy.

Samsung has "never" offered bribes to the president expecting something in return nor has it sought wrongful favors, the company said.

The merger was personally reportedly beneficial to Lee, as it eventually led him to take over control of Samsung from his father. Its offices have been raided several times on suspicion that the presidential office influenced the decision by South Korea's state-run pension fund to back Samsung's merger plan past year.

Related Articles:

« Previous article
Next article »

Popular Pages

Niki Caro To Officially Direct Upcoming Live-Action 'Mulan'
Caro, a New Zealand native, will next be in theaters with The Zookeeper's Wife, a World War II drama starring Jessica Chastain. Since both films were announced a year ago , there have been renewed calls for both studios to cast Asians or Asian Americans.

Jury selection for Aaron Hernandez trial delayed by massive snowstorm
Hernandez, 27, is accused of killing de Abreu, 29, and Furtado, 28, outside of a Boston nightclub as they sat in their BMW sedan. The two men were fatally shot one night in July 2012 as they sat in a vehicle at a red light after leaving a Boston nightclub.

Ishant, Stokes, Morgan valued at big bucks for IPL auction
Mathews featured in Kolkata Knight riders, now-disbanded Pune Warriors India and Delhi Daredevils in the history of IPL. Tiwary admitted: "After missing out on the last season, it's important for me to be part of the IPL", he said.

Can Early Brain Imaging Predict Autism Risk?
It was able to predict which children would develop autism with 80% accuracy. Approximately one out of every 68 children in the United States has autism.

Mexican detained in USA despite work permit
Ramirez in his lawsuit is seeking his immediate release and an injunction forbidding the government from arresting him again. While in custody, he was repeatedly pressured by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to falsely admit affiliation.

Fox Plants Trump-Putin Fake News Story to Promote New Movie
The five sites redirected their URLs to the official Cure for Wellness site shortly after Buzzfeed published its story; the individual links are now 404s.

Donald Trump Scheduled To Call President Buhari, Zuma On Phone Today
According to Nigerian television authority, President Buhari is among the scheduled calls by Us President Donald Trump . It noted there were 600 USA companies in South Africa and strong trade relations between the two countries.

Agents discover catapult used to launch drugs over US - Mexico Border
Instead, they just installed a catapult to fling bundles of marijuana over the fence and into the United States, officials say. Vehicle ramps and lightweight aircraft have also been used to get drugs across the border, according to CBS News .

ACC Basketball: Mark Gottfried will not return to NC State next season
This time around, North Carolina State now owns a almost even 14-13 record in addition to a disappointing 3-11 mark in ACC play. The NC State men's basketball team denied any rumors regarding the firing of head coach Mark Gottfried.

The Weeknd just dropped a track dissing Justin Bieber
Recording artist Justin Bieber performs onstage during the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev.