On Tuesday (October 26), Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-Yong was convicted of drug abuse between January 2015 and May 2020 by the Seoul Central District Court.
As per reports, he had pleaded guilty to the illegal use of ‘controlled drug’ Propofol. The prosecutors said that Lee Jae-Yong took Propofol for ‘purposes other than medical treatments’ on 41 occasions at a plastic during the 5 year period. He reportedly administered the controlled substance at a plastic surgery clinic in Southern Seoul. Propofol is an anaesthetic medicine, the overdose of which can cause death as seen in the case of Michael Jackson.
Yong’s lawyer, however, argued that he took the drug for the treatment of ‘psychological stress’ owing to his father’s hospitalisation and mounting legal cases. The Seoul Central District Court fined him SKW 70 million (US$60,055) and directed an additional forfeiture of SKW 17 million (US$14580) under the Narcotics Control Act. Reportedly, users and administrators of controlled substances can both be prosecuted in South Korea. The Samsung heir was only fined and jailed since abuse of propofol is rare in the country.
Samsung heir and his run-ins with the law enforcement
The Samsung heir had earlier served a 20-month sentence for his role in bribery and embezzlement, involving the ex-President Park Geun-Hye. He was released in August this year. It was considered as one of the largest financial scams in South Korea. He was also involved in accounting fraud and stock price manipulation. Following his release from jail, Yong and Samsung vowed to invest $206 billion in chips and biopharmaceuticals in South Korea.