Samsung's group chief Jay Y Lee was arrested today over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea.
The arrest deals a fresh blow to the world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips.
The 48-year-old Lee, heir of the country's richest family, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre after waiting there overnight for the decision.
Lee is a suspect in the influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye in December
If that decision is upheld by the Constitutional Court, it would make her the country's first democratically elected leader forced from office.
Prosecutors have up to ten days to indict Lee, Samsung's third-generation leader, although they can seek an extension. After indictment, a court would be required to make a ruling within three months.
No decision had been made on whether Lee's arrest would be contested or whether bail would be sought, a spokeswoman for Samsung Group said.
Both Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case.
"We will do our best to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings," the Samsung Group said in a brief statement after Lee's arrest.
The same court had rejected a request last month to arrest Lee, but prosecutors earlier this week additional accusations against Lee, seeking his arrest on bribery and other charges.
Lee's detention is not expected to hamper day-to-day operation of Samsung firms, which are run by professional managers.
But experts said it could hinder strategic decision-making at South Korea's biggest conglomerate, or chaebol.
Samsung has been in the midst of an ongoing restructuring to clear a succession path for Lee to assume control after his father was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.
Decisions that could be complicated by Lee's arrest include deliberations over whether to reorganise the group under a holding company structure, as well as its plan to abandon its future strategy office, a central decision-making body that came in for criticism during the scandal.
Staff moves have also been in limbo. Samsung, which employs around half a million people, has yet to announce annual personnel promotions and changes, which it typically does in December.
Lee's incarceration comes as Samsung Electronics tries to get past the disastrous rollout last year of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which were prone to fires.
It is under pressure for the upcoming launch of its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, to be a success.
Lee's arrest gives a boost to prosecutors who have zeroed-in on Samsung Group to build their case against President Park and her close friend Choi Soon-sil, who is in detention and faces charges of abuse of power and attempted fraud.
Both Park and Choi have denied wrongdoing.
Prosecutors have focused on Samsung's relationship with Park, 65, accusing the group of paying bribes totaling 43 billion won ($37.74m) to organisations linked to Choi to secure government backing for the controversial 2015 merger of two Samsung units, a deal that was seen as key to smoothing Lee's succession.
If parliament's impeachment is upheld, an election would be held in two months. In the meantime, Park remains in office but stripped of her powers.