Seoul, Nov 8: After a series of troubles with its latest Note 7 mobile phone batteries exploding and another technical failure in washing machines, South Korean technology giant Samsung now gets into another muddle. Representatives of the South Korean prosecutor's office on Tuesday raided Samsung offices in Seoul on suspicion that the tech giant might be involved in a corruption scandal involving President Park Geun-hye.
A Samsung spokesperson told Efe news that prosecutors raided the offices in charge of the company's external affairs as it was believed to be involved in influence peddling by providing illicit favors to President's Park confidant and close friend Choi Soon-sil's daughter, dressage rider Chung Yoo-ra.
The prosecutors confiscated documents related to Samsung's business with the Korea Equestrian Federation (KEF).
The prosecutors are investigating allegations that Samsung sent $3.1 million to a company owned by Choi in Germany to fund the equestrian training of her 20-year-old daughter.
It was the first time in eight years that the prosecutors have raided the headquarters of the country's largest conglomerate.
The raid comes just five days after a Samsung executive director had to testify on suspicions that Choi collaborated with a former presidential secretary to push local companies to donate funds to two non-profit foundations.
It is believed that Choi, nicknamed "Korea's Rasputin", illegally appropriated part of those assets.
Choi Soon-Sil, the daughter of the late cult leader who was Park's political mentor decades ago, is at the centre of the country's biggest corruption scandal in years and is accused of gaining access to classified documents and editing some important speeches of President Park, whose approval rating has declined to around 5 per cent.
Why are the washing machines being recalled?
Samsung announced Friday it is recalling nearly 3 million top-loading washing machines that could be an injury risk to users under certain circumstances. Here is what you need to know.
Samsung says it voluntarily recalled 34 models of washing machines due to reports highlighting that the drums in the washers may lose balance, triggering excessive vibrations and resulting in the top separating from the washer. This can occur when a high-speed spin cycle is used for bedding, water-resistant or bulky items.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said Samsung has received 733 reports of washing machines experiencing excessive vibration or the top detaching. There are nine reports of injuries including a broken jaw and injured shoulder.