Samsung's headquarters raided in bribery inquiry
( dpa ) - Prosecutors investigating South Korea's Samsung Group raided the conglomerate's headquarters building in Seoul Tuesday, the day after they searched the home of chairman Lee Kun Hee, as part of an investigation into charges of bribery, Yonhap news agency reported.
The special investigation was launched last week on suspicions the group bribed public officials from a multi-million-dollar slush fund to deter investigations into its management practices.
The National Assembly in November approved the independent investigation into the conglomerate, to which the world's largest chipmaker, Samsung Electronics, belongs.
The searches Monday included Lee's private office at his home and raids at the apartments of vice chairman Lee Hak Soo and five other top Samsung managers.
The Yonhap News agency said documents were seized at the office of Lee Kun Hee, who is barred from leaving the country during the inquiry.
The company was accused by one of its former lawyers, Kim Yong Chul, of establishing bank accounts in the names of its managers and other employees and using the money it deposited in them to bribe government officials, journalists and top officials at the government prosecutor's office, which has launched its own investigation.
The independent inquiry is also looking into charges by the opposition that President Roy Moo Hyun, who leaves office next month, received money from Samsung in 2002 after his election.
Samsung, which produces a quarter of South Korea's exports, rejected the charges.