Samsung is surely dealing with a lot of issues lately. The famous tech company’s Vice-Chairman has been arrested on allegations of participating in a corruption scandal. The arrest came as a surprise. So, authorities accused Lee Jae-yong, the son of Samsung’s ailing chairman, of giving $36 million in bribes to obtain government support for company projects.
Allegedly, the money were paid to President Park Geun-hye and a close friend in order to get support for the company from local authorities. Samsung was willing to obtain approval for a leadership transition and a merger of two Samsung companies.
According to several reports, the case shows that the largest family-run businesses in South Korea are largely politically influenced. Well, the arrest also raised questions of what will happen to Samsung next. Furthermore, some even raised questions of what will happen to South Korea’s economy, considering that the country relies on companies such as Samsung for jobs and taxes.
However, some analysts said that Samsung’s business will actually not be affected at all by this evolution. And without a doubt, this is not the first such scandal for the tech giant. Lee’s father also had to deal with some allegations and he was actually convicted for embezzlement and tax evasion in 2008 and 2009. Lee’s father, Lee Kun-hee, stepped down from the role of chairman after being indicated. Most likely, his son will also resign from his position.
Samsung and Lee Jay-yong denied all the allegations brought forward by prosecutors. The allegations against Samsung first emerged at the end of 2016. In November 2016, South Korean prosecutors decided to raid the offices of Samsung and one of its subsidiaries on concerns of paying bribes to the daughter of a close person to the President Park Guen-hye. Then, the investigation was expanded to the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, with authorities seeking evidence to determine if any law was broken in the case. It has suspected that Samsung bribed some officials to get approval for this merger.
Lee Jae-yong was initially questioned in relation to the case and only later prosecutors decided to arrest him.