Tech company Samsung finds itself unnecessarily in the centre of a South Korean political issue after it sponsored the equestrienne daughter of a long-time friend of ousted South Korean President park Geun-hye had helped it become the country’s leading multinational manufacturer.
Currently, the sponsorship deal is under scrutiny by prosecutors trying to see if Samsung’s involvement in the Korea Equestrian Federation — which they manage a huge part of — has given it “political favours” to use for its corporate gain. Authorities have uncovered that last year, Samsung agreed to pay $18m to Core Sports International GmbH, controlled by Park’s friend Choi Soon-sil who is currently facing abuse of power and fraud criminal charges.
According to an unnamed official at the special prosecutor’s team, their investigation is looking into why Samsung and the KEF is supporting Choi Soon-sil and her daughter Chung Yoo-ra and needed to set up funding through Choi’s own companies. According to the consulting agreement between Samsung and Core Sports in August 2015, Samsung had an interest to develop its own Equestrian Team where it would handle overseas training of athletes before the 2018 Asian Games and World Equestrian Games.
The team was to have six riders with 12 horses according to the contract. But the contract only included Chung and her coach, making the entire subject suspicious.