Samsung vice-chairman/heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee has been arrested in Korea on charges of corruption.
Lee is accused of paying bribes to an advisor of President Park Geun-hye in exchange for political favors. The New York Times reported that he is alleged to have given a total of $36 million to Park’s secret advisor in order to win government support for a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries. Park, Korea’s first female leader, is in trouble herself after being impeached over the influence of her aides. Lee is thus far the highest ranking business executive to be caught up in the saga.
Lee, son of current company chairman Kun-Hee Lee, is seen as the company’s heir apparent and he has already assumed corporate control in the absence of his father due to illness. Back in January, prosecutors issued a warrant for his arrest in relation to the Park saga although that time it was rejected by a court days later.