Prosecutors look into suspected Samsung payments to Choi Soon-sil

Young Na, Nov. 2, 2016, 9:37 a.m.

The prosecution said Wednesday that it is looking into the suspicion that Choi Sun-sil, President Park Geun-hye’s confidante, allegedly received massive funding from Samsung Electronics through a paper company established in Germany.

The special prosecutorial team, launched to investigate the high-profile Choi case, said it found signs that about 3.5 billion won ($3 million) of Samsung’s funds had been sent to Widec Sports, a company that Choi and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra jointly established in Germany.

The prosecution suspects that the funds were sent to Core Sports, the former name of Widec Sports, in around September last year through a Korean local bank. Its name was changed in November last year.

The fund was handed over under a 10-month “consulting contract,” the prosecution said. Over 1 billion won of the funds was suspected to have been used to purchase a horse for Chung.

Speculation grew that Choi established Widec Sports to allegedly misappropriate the funds of two organizations -- Mir Foundation and K-Sports Foundation -- which are suspected to have been established upon massive “donations” from Korean conglomerates under Choi’s influence.

“(The company) will cooperate with the probe. It believes that everything will be transparently revealed in the probe,” said a Samsung Electronics official.

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