Representatives of the South Korean prosecutor’s office raided Samsung offices in Seoul on suspicion that the tech giant might be involved in a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.
A Samsung spokesperson that prosecutors raided the offices in charge of the company’s external affairs as it was believed to be involved in influence peddling by providing illicit favours to President’s Park confidant and close friend Choi Soon-sil’s daughter, dressage rider Chung Yoo-ra.
The prosecutors confiscated documents related to Samsung’s business with the Korea Equestrian Federation (KEF).
The prosecutors are investigating allegations that Samsung sent $3.1 million to a company owned by Choi in Germany to fund the equestrian training of her 20-year-old daughter.
It was the first time in eight years that the prosecutors have raided the headquarters of the country’s largest conglomerate.
The raid comes just five days after a Samsung executive director had to testify on suspicions that Choi collaborated with a former presidential secretary to push local companies to donate funds to two non-profit foundations.
It is believed that Choi, nicknamed “Korea’s Rasputin”, illegally appropriated part of those assets.
Choi Soon-Sil, the daughter of the late cult leader who was Park’s political mentor decades ago, is at the centre of the country’s biggest corruption scandal in years and is accused of gaining access to classified documents and editing some important speeches of President Park, whose approval rating has declined to around 5 per cent.