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Samsung’s Seoul HQ raided by Korean prosecutors over political corruption probe

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The dark clouds of unfortunate news continue to meander over Samsung’s head. Today, South Korean prosecutors have raided the Seoul headquarters of Samsung Electronics over allegations of being involved in the political scandal involving South Korean President Park Guen-hye and her close friend Choi Soon-sil.

Raids on the Korean tech behemoth’s headquarters were conducted on the external affairs offices over allegations of the company offering money to the daughter of Choi Soon-sil. The prosecutors believe that Samsung provided capital of about $3.1 million to a company named Widec Sports in Germany that is co-owned by Choi & her daughter Chung Yoo-ra.

According to Yonhap News Agency, documents related to the Samsung’s business proceedings with the country’s Equestrian Federation have been confiscated by the officers during the raid. The prosecutors will now look into whether the company provided any undue favors to Choi’s daughter, who was a former member of the national equestrian team. Choi has used the use of raising money to support her daughter’s equestrian training.

For those unaware, this national scandal which has us questioning Park’s presidency in the current scenario is said to stem from her close friend Choi. She has allegedly been charged with using her closeness to the President to meddle with state(cultural and sports) affairs and force conglomerates to pay donations to her foundations. Last week, Choi was jailed and charged with fraud and abuse of power. But, the allegations have led to surmounting pressure on President Park to resign due to her involvement.

Since the news of the scandal surfaced, Samsung has denied being one of the conglomerates who offered donations to President’s close mentor, Choi. But, the prosecutors have their doubts due to the position Samsung’s president for corporate relations Park Sang-jin currently holds. He is currently the head of Korea Equestrian Federation and his office was also a part of the raid conducted on Samsung’s headquarters.

In addition to the Korean giant, prosecutors also raided nine other locations, including the Equestrian Federation, Korea Racing Authority and the residence of officials related to the scandal. The prosecutors, however, have denied disclosing the identities of the officials whose houses were raised in the process.

This probe into the Korean giant comes on the heels of its already tainted image due to the Galaxy Note 7 explosion debacle followed by the 2.8 million top-load washing machine recall. This is also the first time that Samsung’s HQ has been raided over corruption charges in the past eight years. Previously, it was accused by prosecutors of paying bribes and influencing senior government officials for tax evasion.

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