Samsung Electronics has been dragged into South Korea’s presidential scandal after investigators raided its headquarters as part of a probe into the political scandal around President Park Geun-hye. The Korean prosecutors are investigating allegations that Samsung gave money to the daughter of Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of the president.
The South Korean company confirmed the raid and declined to comment further.
The prosecutor’s raid comes as Lee deals with fallout from the exploding Note 7 debacle, which is estimated to cost the company more than $6 billion. The 48-year-old, who only joined the board last month, also has to contend with a U.S. recall of its washing machines and a push by activist investor Paul Elliott Singer for Samsung to restructure, return cash to investors and improve transparency.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office confirmed that prosecutors entered Samsung’s headquarters in Suwon, south of Seoul, at 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday.
Yonhap News earlier reported, without citing anyone, that Samsung is suspected of providing 3.5 billion won ($3 million) to a company owned by Choi Soon-sil to fund equestrian training in Germany for her daughter. Choi is a confidante of Park, who is at the center of an influence-peddling investigation.