Samsung Paid Billions to Presidential Crony's Firm

November 02, 2016 13:14

Prosecutors are investigating why Samsung and other big firms paid billions of won to companies established by Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the apex of a scandal threatening to bring down President Park Geun-hye.

Prosecutors on Monday identified a transfer of 2.8 million euros from Samsung to a sports consulting firm called Widec that Choi set up in Germany.

The money was transferred to Widec between September and October last year, when it was called Core Sports. Choi (60) and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra (20) acquired a 100-percent stake in Core Sports in July last year and changed its name to Widec in November.

Chung Yoo-ra takes part in a horse race in Poland in November 2015 in this captured image from Studio 360's YouTube channel.

Prosecutors obtained a search warrant and have been tracking the financial records of Samsung affiliates, and the Financial Supervisory Service is also investigating the suspicious money transfers.

Samsung also spent more than W1 billion on a show horse for Choi's daughter, a budding equestrian, and forked out another 2.3 million euros on a dressage stable in Emsdetten, Germany owned by master trainer Rudolf Zeilinger (US$1=W1,143).

Samsung claims it donated the money with the aim of nurturing young riders and prized horses when it was approached by the Korea Equestrian Federation for corporate sponsorship.

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