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Prosecutors Raid Samsung Group’s Insurance Unit

Posted January. 26, 2008 07:04,   


A special prosecution team investigating allegations of the Samsung Group’s slush fund raided Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance’s headquarters in Euljiro, Jung-gu, Seoul and its two data centers, yesterday.

In its fourth raid, the team began searching the 22nd floor of the company’s headquarters where the president’s office is located, as well as the insurance unit’s data center in Suyuri, northern Seoul, and Samsung SDS’ data center in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province at 3:30 in the afternoon.

The raid on Samsung’s insurance unit came after a local broadcaster quoted a former Samsung worker as saying that Samsung Fire and Marine Insurance had stashed away 1.5 billion won per year and that there was a secret vault on the 22nd floor of the headquarters building.

The team reportedly already had received similar information before the broadcast. An earlier special investigation team and an investigation branch, which were eventually disbanded, had reportedly also considered raiding Samsung’s non-life insurance unit.

Seomi Gallery’s Hong Song-won, 55, was also questioned yesterday over allegations that she had bought expensive artwork on behalf of the Samsung Group.

Hong was questioned about the source of funds used to acquire Roy Lichtenstein’s “Happy Tears,” which is valued at 9 billion won and is at the center of the slush fund investigation.

Prosecutors questioned Hong over whether the so-called ‘slush fund paintings’ claimed by former Samsung attorney Kim Yong-chul were included in the paintings she bought on behalf of Hong Ra-hee, director general of Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.

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