Samsung's last quarter of 2016 will likely be remembered more for scandal than earnings. Starting with the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco and the less-than-ideal manner in which the company handled it, the largest smartphone maker in the world is currently in the midst of a massive corruption scandal which shook the South Korean public. For the uninitiated, the South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante Choi Soon-sil have been accused of involvement in some shady dealings and using political power for personal gain. So, where does Samsung fit into all of this? As South Korean prosecutors believe, the Seoul-based conglomerate provided financial backing to Ms. Choi's daughter, Chung Yu-ra in exchange for illegal assistance over certain business dealings. That's why the company's offices were raided earlier this month, and it's also the reason why Samsung’s Executive President Chang Choong-ki was questioned by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office last week.
Well, the drama continued today, as Reuters is reporting that the Samsung Group's offices were raided by the South Korean government officials once again. The latest raid was also connected to the company's alleged links to Choi Soon-sil and Chung Yu-ra. In addition to Samsung, Seoul also paid a visit to the National Pension Service (NPS), the largest pension fund in the country, following allegations that NPS' approval of the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries was illegally influenced by Ms. Choi. The controversial consolidation was finalized last year and was already a subject of another investigation on insider trading. As the third largest pension fund in the world and a former major shareholder of Cheil Industries, NPS was one of the key parties involved in the contentious acquisition.
Both Samsung and NPS' representatives confirmed South Korean prosecutors raided their offices earlier today, but they'd refused to elaborate on the situation. This investigation also marks the first time in the South Korean history when an acting president was called to be interrogated over a criminal case. However, President Park refused the request through her lawyer and is still adamant at completing her presidential term which ends in early 2018, despite the opposition pressuring her to resign. As the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office is more than interested in wrapping up its investigation while President Park is still in power, more information should follow soon. In the meantime, check out the images of today's raid on Samsung offices and Ms. Choi's arrival to the Korean prosecutor's office in the gallery below.