Samsung vice-chairman and heir Lee Jae-yong to be arrested soon

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Lee Jae-yong, the current vice-chairman and next Samsung Boss to be arrested soon on corruption charges

It will finally be prison time for the young Samsung heir apparent, Lee Jae-Yong. Prosecutors in Seoul have requested the arrest of Lee Jae-Yong, the heir and presumptive head of the Samsung Group. He is accused of stock price manipulation and audit violations which run into billions of dollars.

Lee is vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics which is the world’s largest smartphone maker. He is the eldest child and only son of Hong Ra-hee and Lee Kun-hee, Chairman of Samsung, and is widely considered to be his father’s future successor.

Lee was jailed for five years in 2017 for bribery, embezzlement, and other offenses in connection with a scandal that brought down South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. He was released after spending one year in jail. Lee is now being retried in connection with the2015 merger of two Samsung units which the prosecutors says was done illegally to embezzle money. The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said they were seeking an arrest warrant for Lee on suspicion he had been involved in price manipulation and illegal trading during the 2015 merger of Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T.

If found guilty, Lee would spend at least 18 years behind prison leaving the Samsung succession plans in disarray. Lee’s father is too old to continue running the family-owned Chaebol and it could be for the first time that Samsung will be run by an outsider.

Lee was also involved in some film projects in Hollywood. Lee is also closely related to Miky Lee, producer of Cannes- and Oscar-winning film “Parasite.”
Lee had sensed his impending arrest. He had called a press conference last month to apologize for the complications over succession and control. “I pledge to create a new Samsung that is level with the national dignity of South Korea,” he said.
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