A former Samsung employee has been arrested for stealing thousands of smartphones over the course of nearly two years. Between December 2014 and November 2016, the man, identified by Korean reporters only by his surname Lee, stole a total of 8,474 smartphones, many of which were specifically marked as devices that aren't for sale due to the fact that they were prototypes. Nonetheless, the employee sold those phones and went on to earn an equivalent of $711,743 from second-hand retailers, latest reports indicate.
As is the norm with most employees at tech companies, whenever a worker leaves or enters a facility containing sensitive products, they are required to go through security where they are then scanned in order for their employer to be sure that no information is leaked out to the public or, in this case, to make sure no devices are being stolen. This wasn't the case for the worker in question; due to Lee's disability, he had to use an electric wheelchair on a daily basis and was permitted to skip the security check, thus having an opportunity to steal thousands of smartphones before being caught. The employee, who joined Samsung back in 2010, worked for a maintenance unit of the company that played a part in the creation of software updates for already released devices. It's unclear why exactly the employee started stealing devices from Samsung, though latest reports indicate he had around $800,000 of gambling debt.
Samsung initially caught wind of Lee's habit back in December last year and reported the crime to the police, while the latter only confirming the details of the ordeal earlier today. It's likely Samsung will be upping its security measures within its offices after such an incident. After all, many of the smartphones sold by the employee are sure to have been developer units which hint at what could have been in the works and Samsung is sure to be doing everything in its power to reduce the amount of sensitive information that gets leaked about its experimental devices. The company is currently developing another highly anticipated handset that's set to succeed the Galaxy Note 7 and is expected to be released later this year.