[Writer's Choice] Further Arrests Made at Samsung Electronics Over Accounting Scandal

Jay Yim, May 24, 2019, 4:43 p.m.

Arrest warrants were approved on Saturday for two executives at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd over their alleged roles in a suspected accounting fraud at the biotech of Samsung Group.

The Seoul Central District Court said that the warrants were granted because of concern over possible destruction of evidence.

The court did reject, however, the proesecution's request for a warrant to have the chief executive of Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd arrested.

In addition, two Samsung Electronics officials were arrested earlier this month on suspicion of destroying evidence.

In November, South Korea's financial watchdog accused the biotech arm of Samsung Group of violating accounting rules ahead of its 2016 listing, which sparked a criminal investigation.

Both Samsung Electronics and Samsung BioLogics were not available to make any comments.

The scandal comes at an awkward time for the company because head and heir Jay Y.Lee is in waiting for a Supreme Court ruling on accounts of bribery charges. Also, political pressure is building for greater transparency in its goverance.

Samsung BioLogics is being touted as a new growth engine for Samsung Group who is slowing in their race in the global smartphone market. Samsung Electronics is the second largests shareholder of BioLogics with a 31.5 percent stake.

Samsung Electronics made no comments about the case earlier other than that the company is cooperating with prosecutors.

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