Samsung Offices Raided as Political Scandal Widens

By Eun-Young Jeong Industries Dow Jones Newswires

Signage is seen at the Samsung 837 store in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Samsung Electronics Co. early Tuesday morning amid allegations that the South Korean technology company gave money to a close friend of President Park Geun-hye who has been accused of exerting influence over government affairs. 

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A spokesman for Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office confirmed that it seized documents from Samsung's office of external relations in Seoul's Gangnam neighborhood. A spokeswoman for Samsung didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The prosecutors' raid on Samsung suggests that the growing political scandal could now be turning toward the country's sprawling conglomerates, who have long been some of South Korea's most influential power brokers. 

In recent days, the scandal has resulted in the resignation of the president's chief of staff and four senior aides, and brought tens of thousands of protesters out into the streets of Seoul. Ms. Park, whose single five-year term is set to expire in about a year's time, has seen her public-approval ratings sink to record lows amid calls for her resignation. 

Min Sun Lee contributed to this article. 

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