Amid Samsung's alleged systematic destruction of evidence in the investigation into Samsung BioLogics' accounting fraud, some point out that Samsung is above the law as it has been sanctioned several times in the past for obstructing the Fair Trade Commission (FTC)'s investigative activities.
In March 2012, Samsung Electronics was fined 400 million won, the highest amount ever, for obstructing the FTC's investigation.
When an FTC investigator visited the Suwon office to investigate the price of mobile phones in March 2011, Samsung Electronics grabbed them at the front gate to buy some time and removed the data contained in the PC under investigation and replaced them with other PC.
In addition, the company lied about the business trip of the executive under investigation and later submitted false entry records that deleted the name of the employee who replaced the PC after the FTC investigated how the probe was obstructed.
At that time, some in and outside the FTC pointed out that the precision, organizational power and boldness that Samsung showed in obstructing the investigation were enough to beat the criminal organization.
In fact, it was not the first time that Samsung interfered with the FTC's investigation. Samsung Electronics was also fined 50 million won and 40 million won, respectively, in 2005 and 2008 for obstructing the investigation.
Many point out that the fundamental reason behind Samsung's repeated violations of the law is that it emphasizes the implementation of social responsibility, such as compliance with laws and ethics, but in reality, it is pursuing a backward corporate culture that puts the president and the company's interests ahead of them.
"Samsung, which claims to be a 'global super-high-ranking company,' is still stuck in the old way of 'Samsung above the law that ignores the state's public authority'," said Kim Eun-jung, head of the economic and labor team at the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. "As the past treatment of Samsung's illegal activities has prevented Samsung from changing, bribery and accounting cases should be dealt with strictly according to the law."