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June 28, Wednesday 2017 12:44 AM       

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       Samsung heir arrested in corruption probe
 
         Posted on :19:54:41 Feb 17, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:19:54:41 Feb 17, 2017
         Tags: Samsung heir arrested in corruption probe
 
SEOUL: The heir of South Korean giant Samsung was today arrested as part of a probe into corruption and influence-peddling that caused President Park Geun-Hye to be impeached. "It is acknowledged that it is necessary to arrest (Lee Jae-Yong) in light of a newly added criminal charge and new evidence," a court spokesman said in a statement. Lee Jae-Yong, Samsung Electronics vice chairman, is accused of paying nearly USD 40 million in bribes to Park's secret confidante to secure policy favours.
 
He was already being held at a detention centre after appearing in court yesterday as judges deliberated whether to issue an arrest warrant. Lee, the son of the Samsung group boss Lee Kun-Hee, has been quizzed several times over his alleged role in the scandal that has rocked the nation. The 48-year-old, described as a key suspect in the scandal, narrowly avoided being formally arrested last month, after the court ruled there was insufficient evidence. But prosecutors on Tuesday made a second bid for his arrest, saying they had collected more evidence in recent weeks.
 
His arrest, the first for a Samsung chief, is likely to send shock waves through the group, which is a major part of the South Korean economy and includes the world's largest smartphone maker, Samsung Electronics. It is already reeling from the debacle over the recall of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 device and reports have suggested it could face sanctions from overseas authorities if Lee is punished. The scandal centres on Choi Soon-Sil, who is accused of using her close ties with Park to force local firms to "donate" nearly USD 70 million to non-profit foundations which Choi allegedly used for personal gain.
 
Samsung was the single biggest donor to the foundations. It is also accused of separately giving millions of euros to Choi to bankroll her daughter's equestrian training in Germany. The court is also deliberating an arrest warrant for another Samsung executive, who is also the head of Korea Equestrian Federation, over bribery charges. Samsung said in a statement on Wednesday that it had "not paid bribes nor made improper requests to the president seeking favours". Lee has effectively taken the helm of Samsung -- South Korea's biggest business group -- since his father suffered a heart attack in 2014.
 
Prosecutors are probing whether Samsung had paid Choi to secure state approval for the controversial merger of two Samsung units seen as a key step towards ensuring a smooth power transfer to Lee. The merger in 2015 of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries was opposed by many investors who said it wilfully undervalued the former unit's shares. But the deal went through after Seoul's state pension fund -- a major Samsung shareholder -- approved it. Samsung is South Korea's largest business group and its revenue is equivalent to about a fifth of the country's GDP.
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       WORLD
Next Article: Sundar Pichai responds to 7-year-old's Google job application
 
 
WORLD HEADLINES
China claims Indian troops crossed border, blocks pilgrims  
JIT to interrogate Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz in Panama case  
Macron says France will not recognise Crimea 'annexation'  
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Modi, Trump vow to fight terrorism  
China's fastest bullet train makes debut  
Chinese media says 'stubborn' India aiming to counter-balance Beijing's CPEC  
White House forgoes Iftar for first time in two decades  
Malaysia-bound AirAsia flight ‘shaking like washing machine’ returns to Aus  
123 killed, 100 injured as oil tanker explodes in Pak  
PM Modi hold talks with Portuguese counterpart  
73 dead in multiple blasts in 3 Pak cities  
100 feared buried by landslide in China  
Arab countries send Qatar list of 13 demands to end crisis  
N Korea conducts yet another rocket engine test  
Balochistan: Five killed in blast near IGP office in Quetta  
Jadhav seeks clemency from Pak army chief  
India criticises US and UN over Afghan terror attacks  
24 killed in bomb attack at New Kabul Bank in Afghanistan  
Mosul mosque destruction means ISIS admitting defeat: Iraq PM  
Man arrested over abusive twitter post after London mosque  
Prince Philip admitted to hospital with infection, says Buckingham Palace  
Saudi king names son Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince  
US group wants to ban sale of smartphones for kids under 13  
French defence minister Goulard announces resignation  
 
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