[dropcap style=”circle” color=”#dd3333″]L[/dropcap]ee Jae Yong, Samsung’s vice chairman and the company ’s current acting leader, has officially been arrested on charges that he attempted to bribe the president of South Korea. To sound more legal and professional, he has been arrested for corruption, perjury, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas; all of which has a connection with the present corruption scandal rocking the country.
A Seoul Central District Court issued the warrant that led to Lee’s arrest in the early hours of Friday. Reports suggest that he (Lee Jae Yong) may spend up to or more than 18 months waiting for a trial or ruling – including procedural steps and appeals. The arrest decision was made because of the risk and fear of investigators that he might destroy some evidence or flee, a court spokesperson said
Investigators are looking into whether Lee Jae Yong was involved in providing as much as 43 billion won ($38 million) to benefit a close friend of South Korean President Park Geun-hye or not. Lee made the bribe in exchange for government support of his management succession.
According to Bloomberg, “Prosecutors alleged that Lee, 48, funded Park’s associates as he tried to consolidate control over the sprawling conglomerate founded by his grandfather.”
With Lee under detention, Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-Jin will probably temporarily replace him and take over some of Lee’s responsibilities. Prosecutors pushed for the arrest of Park too, but the court rejected the request.
Lee, who is waiting for the court’s decision at a detention centre in Seoul, will, however, remain there as a result of the arrest warrant.
Reacting to the detention of its leader, Samsung Group has come out to make some comments on the latest vile development. “We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings,” Samsung Group.
It should be stated for fathoming sake that a court blocked an earlier January 19 arrest attempt on the basis of lack of substantial evidence. After the prosecutor’s first attempt to arrest Lee was rejected by a tribunal on Jan. 19 due to lack of evidence, information from Bloomberg also revealed that the billionaire heir was called in again for 15 hours of questioning on Monday as investigators sought more information.
Speaking on Tuesday, a spokesman for the special prosecutor said that they found evidence of Lee hiding and reporting a false profit, perhaps because it was gained through criminal acts and it was discovered that Lee was hiding assets abroad. This seems evident enough that the prosecutor’s arrest request was granted by the court immediately on the second attempt.
“The special prosecutor definitely has plans to push ahead with the indictment,” the spokesman further stated. “Last time, we’ve found that his bribery was mainly associated with the merger. But it’s been additionally discovered that it wasn’t only related to the merger but also to his succession.”