Crown prince of Samsung, Lee Jae-yong, Arrested in South Korea

Samsung VCLee Jae-yong, the heir to the one of the world’s largest tech giants, Samsung, is sitting in prison for being involved in a scam that can topple the leader of a country. A situation is unfolding in South Korea, but the prospects of a massive household cleaning looks uncertain.

The arrest of Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Corporations, show how family run businesses control politics in places like South Korea. The arrest would not make much difference to the country’s economy at the moment, or make any sweeping changes to how the country fights corruption.

Sim Sang-jeung, an opposition lawmaker, said that this arrest was just the  tip of the iceberg. The lawmaker has pushed for transparency at the largest companies. The country, for decades have been fueled by large family-run conglomerates called chaebol. These conglomerates are now firmly embedded in the country’s economy, making up to 80% of their gross domestic product. However, there was a rising public anger over the perception of corruption and favoritism in the conglomerates.

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Charged with Bribery

Lee Jae-yong is accused of promising as much as £30.4 million or to a friend of the President, Park Geun-hye. In return, the government would support him for this succession and control of the conglomerate that was started by his grandfather. There was a risk of him fleeing the country or destroying the evidence, but an arrest warrant was quickly issues by the Seoul Central District Court.

The 48 year old billionaire who is worth 6.2 billion US dollars, lived in a 4 million US dollar mansion, now resides in a 71-square-foot detention cell with a toilet in the corner behind a partition. He has no shower, only a washstand. His bed is a mattress on the floor. Also, he  is not allowed to be in contact with any of the inmates for safety issues. Also, he cannot discuss the case.

Source: NYTimes


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