South Korean authorities have arrested Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on a number of charges related to the influence peddling scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.

Last month, a Seoul court refused to issue an arrest warrant for Mr. Lee citing a lack of evidence.  But prosecutors tried again earlier this week, presenting additional evidence and brought more charges against Lee.  The court issued the new arrest warrant early Friday morning, and the 48-year old Lee was taken into custody a short time later. 

"We acknowledge the cause and necessity of the arrest," a judge said in his ruling.  The Seoul Central District Court rejected a request to issue an arrest warrant for Samsung President Park Sang-jin, who also heads the Korea Equestrian Federation.

Prosecutors believe Samsung paid bribes of almost AU$50 Million to organizations linked to Park's friend, Choi Soon-sil, in order to secure the government's approval for the merger of two Samsung units.  That funding includes Samsung's sponsorship of the equestrian career of Choi's daughter.  She is detained in Denmark on a south Korean warrant.