South Korean prosecutors get Samsung heir arrested following Choi-gate corruption scandal

Choi-gate scandal leading to impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, since the powers having been transferred to the prime minister and now acting president, Hwang Kyo-ahn. South Korea had to face huge economic crisis in 2016 following profit warnings, investor tensions and the high-profile termination of its prone-to-exploding Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

Brief on choi-gate scandal:

President Park Geun-hye, 64, the daughter of a former South Korean dictator who became the country’s first female president in late 2011 had been centre of the most damaging political crisis of her four-year presidency as her 40-year friendship with Choi Soon-sil, 60, Park’s adviser/spiritual guru said to make undue influence on economic policy and South Korea’s relations with North Korea resulting to a $70m scandal.

Lee Jae-yong,48, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics and de-facto head since his father, Lee-kun-hee, had a heart attack in 2014, has been arrested on 17th February for the charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury said to prosecutors of Seoul. Samsung is accused of paying bribes totalling 43bn won (£30m) to two foundations operated by Choi. It had cost Lee third-generation leader of the tech giant, and four other executives -vice chairman Choi Geesung, president Chang Choong-ki, Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin and executive vice president Hwang Sung-soo face the same charges. Lee has also been charged of pledging bribes to a firm and organisations tied to Park’s aide Choi Soon-sil to cement his control of the smartphones-to-biopharmaceuticals business empire. Amidst the rebuttal, Lee has promised to shut Samsung’s corporate strategy office, responsible for major initiatives such as investment in new businesses, amid accusations by politicians that it was an organ for illicit lobbying efforts. Composed of around 200 employees, the office did not exist as a legal entity.

Footnote:
1. South Korea prosecutors seek arrest of Samsung heir-apparent; published on 16th January 2017
2. Samsung head arrested over South Korean Choi-gate corruption scandal; published on 17th February 2017
3.Samsung heir to be indicted for bribery, co shuts nerve centre, published on 1st March 2017
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