Samsung chairman named as suspect in tax evasion case, office raided by police.
Feb 08, 2018 Business 3713 By franklyn Anude
The scandal which has followed the Samsung family seems far from over as the South Korean police an Thursday named its chairman, Lee Kun-hee as a suspect in a $7.5 million (8.2 billion won) tax evasion case.
The heir of the country's biggest business empire, Jay Y. lee was only released earlier in the week following an appeal
courts decision to reduce his sentence for a bribery and corruption charge, that brought down former South Korean president, by half and suspended it.
Chairman Lee Kun-hee who is of ill health, after a 2014 heart attack has been in Samsung's Medical Centre in Seoul. Difficulty in cummunication means the police could not question him becuase of his physical condition.
“Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee and a Samsung executive managed funds in 260 bank accounts under names of 72 executives, suspected of evading taxes worth 8.2 billion won,” Korean National Police Agency said in a statement, planning to send the case to prosecutors.
The tax evasion investigation dates back to the late payment of 130 billion won in tax with 8.2 billion of the sum falling within the statute of limitation.
Samsung group has vowed to ensure transparency in its business dealing and governance, granting heads of the group's subsidiaries, freedom with less interference from the Lee family. Though the Jay Y. Lee has not returned back work after his release, he is expected to assume leadership of the company.
Lee Kun-hee has been involved in tax scandals before and was convicted in 2009, after he was caught up in a scandal that involved the use of trusted employees' accounts to avoid paying taxes and police say more of such accounts have been discovered. The police also says that accounts holding some 400 billion won were discovered during their investigation into the payments made for the renovation of the Lee's famiily home.
Meanwhile, prosecutors carried out a search of Samsung Electronics on Thursday, following leads from their investigation of former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, looking for solid evidence showing Samsung's financial support towards an alleged "Lee controlled company".
It would become yet another scandal involving the electronic giant, if evidence confirming the report were to be found.