Lee Jae-yong, after being served his arrest warrant, on his way to jail.

Samsung is the largest and most influential business in South Korea. According to the industry, their 2016 sales are expected to reach 300 trillion won (£209 billion). Directly and indirectly, more than 5 million people are estimated to be influenced by the conglomerate, including as employees of partner companies, related agencies and families.

The arrest of Samsung Electronics chairman Lee Jae-yong, covered by BBC here, has thoroughly shaken up the company, the industry and the present-day political situation of South Korea.

Lee, through Samsung, paid bribes of almost £30 million to two foundations set up by Choi Soon-sil in exchange for political support in a controversial merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.

Choi Soon-sil after interrogations on 13 February.

Choi Soon-sil made headlines worldwide late last year when it came to light that she had been inappropriately exploiting her close relationship with President Park Geun-hye. Through the president, she allegedly strong-armed multiple business conglomerates into donating millions of Korean won to her slush funds.

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye speaks during an address to the nation, at the presidential Blue House in Seoul
The impeached president, Park Geun-hye.

Lee’s arrest could prove dangerous to the president’s chances of overturning her impeachment.

Listen out the full report below or check out more background information and news developments here.


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