Investigations into the blackmail of Samsung Electronics
Chairman Lee Kun-hee
have turned up evidence of a transaction between the conglomerate and the blackmailers, a local news agency reported on March 14.
The blackmailers have been identified as a former CJ CheilJedang employee identified by the surname Seon and his younger brother. The Seons had produced a video showing a man who appears to be Lee paying women and engaging them in conversation suggesting that he had paid for sex. The video was filmed by one or more of the women under the direction of the blackmailers between December 2011 and June 2013 in southern Seoul.
According to Yonhap News Agency, the investigators have secured evidence that the blackmailers had received a large sum from Samsung Group, or those affiliated to the group. The elder Seon was arrested on Feb. 25 on charges of blackmail, and violation of sexual crime laws.
Citing unnamed sources, the agency reported that the blackmailers were paid about 300 million won (US$261,000) in an apparent attempt to keep the video from surfacing.
When the video came to light in 2016, Samsung Group acknowledged that there had been attempts at extortion but ignored them saying that the claims were considered inconceivable.
Samsung Group maintains that no actions were taken on its part regarding the video.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)