The South Korean offices of Samsung were raided early this morning as part of an investigation into corruption.
At the centre of the investigation is friend and confidante of South Korean President Park Geun-gye, Choi Soon-sil.
Samsung is suspected of secretly funding Soon-sil’s daughters dressage training. It is alleged that the electronics manufacturer transferred $3.1 million to a German company that Soon-sil owns and that the money was used to pay for the training by the president’s friend.
A report by Aljazeera says that Samsung confirmed the raid on its offices but furnished no additional details.
While funding a girl’s horse riding seems innocuous enough, Soon-sil faces serious allegations that paint the suspected donation in darker light.
Soon-sil is alleged to have used her 40-year friendship with Geun-gye to leverage donations from firms such as Samsung to non-profits she set up and ultimately used for personal gain. Soon-sil was arrested last week on charges of fraud and abuse of power.
Beyond allegedly funneling donations for her own gain, Soon-sil is also accused of influencing the nomination of senior government officials. This relationship has impacted the approval rating of Geun-gye and has seen mass street protests calling on the president to resign.[Via – Aljazeera]