Samsung’s vice chairman arrested in $40M corruption scandal

Samsung’s vice chairman arrested in $40M corruption scandal

Samsung Group’s vice chairman Lee Jae-yong has been arrested and taken to jail near Seoul in South Korea in connection with a nearly $40 million corruption scandal, authorities confirmed on Friday.

Jae-yong is facing multiple charges related to bribery, embezzlement and perjury. The Seoul Central District Court issued a warrant for his arrest Friday Morning. The same court had rejected a warrant request from government prosecutors last month due to lack of evidence

When contacted, a Samsung spokesperson said, “Samsung has not paid bribes nor made improper requests to the President seeking favors. We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in the court proceedings.”

Prosecutors say that Jae-yong, following the hospitalization of his father Lee Kun-hee three years ago, made illegal donations worth 43 billion won (US$37.6 million) to foundations controlled by a friend of President Park Geun-hye in order to get government support for the merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T in 2015.

Jae-yong has admitted that he made donations to foundations controlled by a friend of President Park Geun-hye, but denied seeking any kind of favors in return.

The economic condition of Samsung has been a matter of national interest in South Korea as the electronics giant and its affiliates account for almost a fifth of the nation’s exports.

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