South Korea: Raid in Samsung HeadQuarters
The trouble for smartphone market leader Samsung has now started in its home ground. After Note 7 flames, the fire has spread to its headquarters which was raided on Tuesday following the South Korean President scandal.
Reportedly, South Korean prosecutors raided Samsung electronics’ headquarters as a part of prove into a damaging political scandal involving President Park Geun-Hye and her close personal friend, Choi Soon-Sil.
“We’re searching Samsung Electronics offices,” a spokesman from the prosecutors’ office told AFP. However, he declined to provide any further details. The raid was in search of incriminating documents.
It has been reported that Samsung Electronics may have directed around 2.3 million euros ($3.1 million) to Geun-Hye’s confidante, Soon-Sil in order to bankroll her daughter’s equestrian training in Germany.
Choi Soon-Sil has been under arrest on charges of fraud and abuse of power, related to accusations that she leveraged her personal relationship with Park to coerce donations from large companies like Samsung. She directed this money to two non-profit foundations she set up and it has been alleged that she used it for personal gain.
It is to be noted that Soon-Sil also faces allegations of interference in government affairs, including the nomination of senior officials.
According to the media reports, Samsung has said it will cooperate with any investigations, but has declined to comment specifically on today’s raid.
The political scandal had triggered nationwide protests which called for the President to step down, and seriously undermined her administration with just over a year left of her presidential term. Her confidence ratings fell to lower than 5 percent.
However, Park did try to improve the situations of lack of public trust, but reshuffling her senior ministers and advisers, and also nominated a new Prime Minister from outside her conservative Saenuri party.
In a meeting with Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun on Tuesday, President said that she will appoint a prime minister recommended by the National Assembly, dropping her previous nomination of Kim Byong-joon for the post. However, she on opposition’s demand she also made it clear that the new prime minister will be empowered to lead the Cabinet, implying that she will share power with them in governing the nation.