Samsung denies media report on heir's suspected drug abuse

SEOUL, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Samsung Electronics on Thursday denied a local media report on the suspected drug abuse by Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, according to the statement from the country's biggest family-controlled conglomerate.

Samsung said that Lee, an heir apparent of Samsung Group, had never used drugs illegally, hoping that the truth would be clearly unveiled through prosecutors' investigation.

The statement noted that Lee had been treated at a hospital according to a doctor's professional prescription and visited a hospital for treatment for personal reasons, but it claimed that the allegation of illegal drug injection was completely false.

It added that civil and criminal measures against the media would be considered for its malicious false report.

Local media outlet Newstapa reported that the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office launched an investigation last month into Lee's suspected drug abuse after a whistleblower reported the case to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, the country's anti-corruption watchdog.

Newstapa said it interviewed the whistleblower several times and received multiple materials showing the allegation of Lee's repeated drug injections.

The whistleblower claimed to be the boyfriend of a practical nurse who is suspected of regularly injecting Lee with propofol at a plastic surgery hospital in the southern Gangnam District of the capital Seoul.

Propofol is a psychotropic substance, prescribed by doctor and used to induce anesthesia during certain surgeries. It is frequently abused in the country for its relatively easier access.

The materials, which the whistleblower gave to Newstapa, included text messages exchanged in early 2017 between the practical nurse and the one who is called Vice Chairman Lee.

The plastic surgery hospital was closed down late last year, while the hospital's doctor and the practical nurse were already indicted and detained for giving propofol shots to a member of the family that owns Aekyung Group, one of South Korea's conglomerates.

[ Editor: WPY ]