Probing deep into the nexus between political establishment and businesses, South Korean prosecutors Wednesday raided the offices of Samsung Electronics as reports of alleged links between President Park Geun-hye and her close confidante continued to rock the east Asian nation.
Reports from multiple sources like Wall Street Journal and Reuters suggested that premises of South Korea's largest pension fund, the National Pension Service (NPS) were also raided as part of this alleged influence-peddling scandal.
The agency looking into the matter raided four locations - the NPS headquarters, NPS Investment Management office headquarters, Samsung Group offices, and the office of a former NPS investment management official, as part of the ongoing investigation.
Relationship between Park and her confidante, Choi Soon-sil, are under scanner in recent days for allegedly pressurizing major business houses including the Samsung Group, to raise funds for foundations backed by Park.
This has created a lot of turmoil in South Korean politics with clamours for Park's resignation growing from opposition and general public.
Park, whose five-year term ends in February 2018, has resisted calls to resign but has apologised twice, saying she has not benefitted herself from donations received from business conglomerates.
However, the scandal has already resulted in resignations of President's chief of staff and four senior aides with public protests demanding Park's resignation.
"Corporations are not allowed to give any political campaign money in Korea. That may be the reason companies give donations to these foundations, indirectly supporting the president," the Wall Street Journal quoted Kim Woo-chan, associate dean of Korea University Business School as saying.
Meanwhile, independent research firms had earlier raised questions on NPS role over its approval as a major shareholder for facilitating the merger between two affiliates of Samsung Group at the cost of minority shareholders.
In March, 2016, shareholders of the electronics giant had raised questions over company's deteriorating performance and governance problems at its annual general meeting.