Samsung’s Chairman Ordered to Appear in India Case

India’s Supreme Court ordered Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun-Hee to appear before judges within six weeks in a dispute over a $1.4 million payment.

A two-judge panel directed Lee, South Korea’s richest person, to go before a court near New Delhi in connection with the case. The panel said it wasn’t expressing an opinion on the merits of the case involving the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India.

Lee, 72, helped build Samsung into Asia’s biggest technology company and the world’s largest maker of smartphones, televisions and memory chips. He has an estimated net worth of $10.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. If he doesn’t appear within six weeks, police will be able to arrest him upon entering India.

“This case is related to a multimillion dollar fraud scheme perpetrated against a Samsung subsidiary in Dubai,” Samsung said in an e-mailed statement. The perpetrators of the fraud were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison, according to the statement.

“Despite this, a private criminal complaint was filed by a party in India claiming to have received a bill of exchange used in this fraud. Chairman Lee has no relation to this case whatsoever,” Samsung said.

The dispute dates back to 2002 after a Dubai subsidiary, Samsung Gulf Electronics, ordered $1.37 million worth of coke calcination packages from New Delhi-based JCE Consultancy, according to district and Supreme Court documents. JCE filed a criminal complaint in 2005.

The substance is used in making aluminum.

(Corrects timing of conviction in fourth paragraph of story published yesterday.)
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