The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office raided Samsung Biologics and Samsung C&T over the former’s accounting fraud allegations on December 13 and 14.
Under the circumstances, the local business groups including Samsung itself are expressing concerns over Samsung bashing. This year alone, the Samsung Group has been raided no less than 11 times with regard to, for example, an alleged attempt to threaten unionized workers.
According to local entrepreneurs, the fact that even Samsung C&T was recently raided implies that the prosecution’s investigation into the allegations, which has been triggered by the Securities and Futures Commission, can cover even the previous merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries.
In February this year, the prosecutor’s office raided Samsung Electronics’ offices in Suwon and Seoul regarding an alleged connection between former President Lee Myung-bak and the company. In addition, the office raided Samsung four times in April, twice in May, once in July, once in August and once in September. “A lot of employees had to stop working and they are feeling helplessness and fatigue,” said a Samsung executive. This year alone, civic organizations, the police and the government brought no less than nine charges against Samsung, which means such raids can continue next year.
With such Samsung bashings, entrepreneurs are expressing their criticisms. “The ongoing case of Samsung Biologics shows that South Korea is not a business-friendly environment,” said Myongji University professor Jo Dong-geun, adding, “South Korean companies, which are entangled in numerous regulations, anti-business sentiments, militant labor unions, and high corporate taxes, now have to worry about systemic instability to boot.”