Desk-column-Will-police-summon-Lee-Boo-jin
Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin/Courtesy of Hotel Shilla

Investigation for Hotel Shilla CEO’s drug use continues almost a year

If ordinary people are suspected of having taken an addictive drug for non-medical purposes in South Korea, they would be instantly summoned to the police.

That might not be the case for ultra-rich businesswomen as amply demonstrated by Hotel Shilla CEO Lee Boo-jin, the oldest daughter of Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

After the reports that Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong faces a probe for his suspected drug use, his sister Lee Boo-jin’s case draws fresh attention.

The allegations surfaced last March that she gained illegal access to a powerful anesthetic named propofol in 2016 at a cosmetic clinic in southern Seoul.

If the propofol scandal proves to be true, the 50-year-old CEO would be subject to criminal charges because the sedative-hypnotic agent is classified as a psychotropic drug in Korea.

The billionaire Samsung heiress denied any wrongdoing, claiming that she did visit the clinic in question, but just for legitimate treatment.

Then, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency raided the clinic three times and booked related medical staff. Back then, a police officer in charge said that the decision will be made in the second half whether or not to summon Lee Boo-jin after finishing forensic work.

On February 17, the Korea News Plus contacted the same police officer.

We still continue to investigate the case. We have tried to get relevant comments and reviews, and sometimes they took months. That’s why the probe takes so much time,” he said.

We cannot say for sure whether or not to book or summon Lee Boo-jin. What we can say is that we will make a conclusion this year.”

It remains to be seen whether the officer will keep his promise. People would not want to hear him say in early 2021 again, “we will conclude this year.”