Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong escapes arrest in massive bribery scandal

“A Seoul court on Thursday denied a request to arrest one of South Korea’s most powerful men, the heir to the Samsung Electronics juggernaut, in a setback to prosecutors investigating an influence-peddling scandal that toppled South Korea’s president,” Youkyung Lee reports for TIME Magazine. “The Seoul Central District Court said that a judge concluded that there was not enough justification to detain the 48-year-old billionaire Samsung vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, at this stage.”

“The decision means that Samsung avoids what could have been a stunning fall for the princeling of the country’s richest family, a man groomed to lead South Korea’s most successful company,” Lee reports “It came amid calls for caution from some business groups and newspapers worried that arresting Lee could hurt the economy because of Samsung’s huge role, both economically and psychologically, in the country.”

MacDailyNews Take: South Korea’s version of “too big to fail.”

“It is not uncommon in South Korea for courts to issue an arrest warrant past midnight for important or contentious cases, said Shin Jae-hwan, a spokesman for the Seoul court,” Lee reports. “The long deliberation means the judge must have agonized over the decision, he added.”

MacDailyNews Take: Pfft.

They don’t call South Korea the Republic of Samsung for nothing.

“Prosecutors said Lee gave 43 billion won ($36 million) in bribes to President Park Geun-hye and Choi Soon-sil, her confidante, seeking support for a contentious merger. They also suspect him of embezzling and lying under oath during a parliamentary hearing last month,” Lee reports. “The court’s decision may hurt prosecutors’ plan to expand the bribery probe to Park.

“Educated in South Korea, Japan and the United States, Lee is the crown prince of the country’s richest family, one South Koreans often liken to royalty. His father is South Korea’s richest individual whose net worth is estimated at $14.8 billion by Forbes Magazine. The younger Lee’s net worth is estimated at $5.8 billion,” Lee reports. “The elder Lee was convicted twice on bribery, embezzlement and other charges in 1996 and 2008, but he was never imprisoned. He received suspended jail terms and was later pardoned by the country’s presidents both times.”

MacDailyNews Take: And when they all kick off, they won’t even have to dig holes. They’re so crooked, they’ll just screw ’em into the ground.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Since the criminal enterprise Samsung owns the country, it’s wholly unsurprising that a Seoul court denied the arrest request.

Samsungorea is a den of thieves.

South Korea attempting to handicap Apple by demanding the removal of preinstalled apps like the App Store – July 7, 2016
Korea Fair Trade Commission clears Samsung’s use of standard-essential patents against Apple – February 27, 2014
South Korea, the Republic of Samsung – December 10, 2012
Welcome to South Korea, the ‘Republic of Forgery’ – September 11, 2012


  1. All US troops and military personnel out of South Korea now !

    Why does the US prop up dodgy countries like South Korea? Countries that protect crooked local enterprises, like Samsung, that make their fortunes ripping-off the Intellectual Property of US companies? Then selling those products in the US and globally (depriving legitimate US businesses of sales). Shameful. Sad.

    Make American Great Again? Then we should stop propping up crooked countries that undermine US businesses.

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