SEOUL, Sept. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — The eldest son of CJ Group Chairman Lee Jae-hyun is under investigation on drug charges, prosecutors said Monday.
According to the Incheon District Prosecutors Office, Lee Sun-ho, the heir apparent of CJ Group, a leading food and entertainment conglomerate, was caught attempting to smuggle liquid marijuana in cartridges into the country via Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Lee is accused of concealing several dozen marijuana cartridges in his luggage that arrived at the Incheon airport from the United States.
Lee’s suspected smuggling attempt was detected by the customs authorities and his case was transferred to the prosecution.
Prosecutors said Lee is now under investigation for violating the Narcotics Control Act, noting his urine sample tested positive for the banned substance.
“Lee was allowed to return home for now,” an Incheon prosecutor said, refusing to elaborate.
Lee has been serving as a manager at CJ Cheiljedang, a CJ Group affiliate engaged in the production and sale of various food products, since 2013.
Earlier this year, scions of other top South Korean conglomerates were arrested on charges of buying and consuming liquid marijuana and are now going through court trials.
Prosecutors said they decided to investigate Lee without detention, considering various factors, including that he has no criminal history and the type of drug in question.
Lee became a manager in charge of food business strategy and planning at CJ Cheiljedang in May this year after serving at the company’s bio business team.
CJ Group officials said they are now closely watching the prosecution’s probe into Lee, while the CJ company has not taken any disciplinary action against him.
“It is difficult to comment on the case as the investigation is still under way. We’re also waiting for the result of the probe. We’ll then comment after the results come out,” a group official said.
CJ Group Chairman Lee served two and a half years in jail after being arrested on embezzlement and tax evasion charges in July 2013.