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Samsung, heir group convicted of drug use

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The heir and ‘de facto’ leader of the South Korean Samsung group, Lee Jae-yong, was convicted by the Central District Court of Seoul for illegal use of drugs, in particular propofol, a powerful anesthetic. Lee, vice president of the electronics giant, was fined 70 million won (about $ 60,000), the Yonhap agency reported.

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The court also ordered a further confiscation of 17 million won against Lee for violations of the drug control law, fully accepting the claims and the prosecution’s accusation. In June, prosecutors indicted the vice president of Samsung Electronics for the use of propofol unhooked from medical treatments at a plastic surgery clinic in Seoul on a total of 41 occasions between January 2015 and May 2020.

Under South Korean law, the recipient of a controlled substance believed to have been illegally administered is punishable, as are those who have allowed it. Lee’s attorney, however, said that the use of propofol was part of inpatient treatment and not illegal.

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