Samsung Seoul offices raided in corruption probe

South Korean prosecutors investigating a confidante of President Park Geun-hye for corruption have searched the offices of Samsung, according to local media.

Samsung is alleged to have given money to the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of President Park. Choi has been jailed on the grounds of unduly using her influence to affect national affairs and receiving bribes from conglomerates.

Samsung confirmed the raids to the BBC saying they had “no further comment”.

The South Korean tech giant is alleged to have given 3 billion won (around $3 million) to Choi through a company called Widec Sports in Germany, with the nominal excuse to support Choi’s daughter’s equestrian training.

Choi, the daughter of a cult leader who mentored Park before his death, is believed to have used her connection to the president to raise money for two private foundations and enrich herself.

It is the first time that Samsung’s headquarters have been raided by prosecutors since its corruption scandal eight years ago. The tech giant was then accused of creating slush funds and paying bribes to senior government officials, with the investigation resulting in chairman Lee Kun-hee getting a suspended sentence for tax evasion.

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