Authorities Raid Pension Fund at Samsung
Prosecutors in a South Korea investigation surrounding a corruption scandal of the president and her close friend raided a pension fund of Samsung the largest business group in the country Wednesday as public outrage increases over the alleged link of Samsung to the scandal.
An official with the prosecutor’s office has said that investigators entered the pension fund and seized documents, hard drives of computers and other items at the corporate strategy office of Samsung Group located in Seoul.
In addition, they raided the offices of the National Pension Services also in Seoul and its Jeonju headquarters. Officials would not give their names citing policies of their office.
These raids were carried out as the fallout politically from the scandal has continued to expand. Prosecutors announced charges against Choi Soon-sil, a long time friend of President Park Geun-hye and two aides to the president on suspicion of interference of state affairs and the bullying of companies, which includes Samsung, into giving millions of dollars to businesses and foundations that Choi had controlled.
On Wednesday, the office of the president said that two other government officials, a senior presidential secretary and the justice minister had said they would resign.
The offers of resignation, if accepted, could deal more blows to the president, who had been forced already to fire as many as eight presidential advisers.
Park refusing to meet with prosecutors who say she conspired with her confidante in criminal activities.
While Park is facing mounting pressure to resign as president, due to the ongoing scandal, public anger directed at Samsung, has been simmering due to the alleged link with Choi.
This is not the first time there has been a raid by prosecutors during an investigation over a scandal. Top executives at Samsung including the son of chairman Lee Jae-yong, have been questioned earlier in November by prosecutor, as well as other top business executives in South Korea.
Other companies under the Samsung umbrella have also been raided by prosecutors.
However, the target of the most recent raid was the corporate strategy office at Samsung, which indicates Samsung could be involved deeply in this scandal.
That office opened in December of 2010 in support of affiliates and to help improve the synergies amongst a number of Samsung businesses.
Yonhap South Korea’s news agency posted earlier that the prosecutor’s office was looking into if the presidential office played a role in the vote of the pension service to support a merger of two companies in Samsung in 2015.