Samsung is sucked into South Korea’s political crisis

IT WAS the third raid on the Samsung group in as many weeks. On November 23rd state prosecutors combed more offices of the South Korean consumer-electronics firm, part of a probe into an influence-peddling case that could be the undoing of President Park Geun-hye’s administration. The deepening inquest compounds a miserable few months for Samsung, which recently recalled 3m faulty washing machines and killed a new line of Galaxy Note phones after dozens exploded due to flawed batteries.

Last week prosecutors accused Ms Park of conspiring to coerce 50-odd companies to funnel 80bn won ($70m) to two foundations, Mir and K-Sports, controlled by Choi Soon-sil, a confidante indicted for abuse of power. The biggest grant, 20.4bn won, came from Samsung. Prosecutors suspect that it funnelled a further €2.8m ($3m) to Ms Choi through Widec Sports, a German company she used to buy horses and equestrian lessons for her daughter, a dressage athlete.

Investigators had said that the firms, including many in the pantheon of South Korean business, such as Lotte, a retail giant, and SK Group, a conglomerate, both of whose offices were raided this week,…Continue reading

This post was originally published in the Economist.

Samsung is sucked into South Korea’s political crisis

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