Late last night we learned that Samsung’s head guy Lee Jae-yong was arrested on charges of corruption entailing bribery in South Korea.
Obviously not good news for the company and yet another humiliating blow in the wake of the recent and very public product failures around mobile phones and washing machines.
This seems to be a pretty damning case that goes all the way to the very top of the political system in Korea and may very well topple the current president Park Gun-hye.
The allegations that obviously Korean officials seem to believe that they can prove or we doubt they’d take such a serious action allege that Samsung provided up to 43 billion won, about £30.4 million, to a close friend of the president. In exchange Lee Jae-yong got government support for hie ascension to the top position in Samsung.
Lee Jae-yong remains under arrest and is being held in a detention centre.
“The special prosecutor definitely has plans to push ahead with the indictment,” a Korean spokesman said. “Last time, we’ve found that his bribery was mainly associated with the merger. But it’s been additionally discovered that it wasn’t only related to the merger but also to his succession.”
Quite what this means for Samsung as a company is, so far, an unknown.