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South Korean prosecutors raid Lotte Group offices

A Lotte flag files outside the Lotte Department store in Seoul, South Korea. Image copyright Getty Images

South Korean prosecutors have raided the offices of one of South Korea's biggest conglomerates, the Lotte Group, as part of a bribery probe.

About 200 officials searched Lotte's headquarters in Seoul and the homes of key executives, local media said.

Earlier this week the group delayed plans for a share sale for its hotel division after the probe was launched.

It was expected to be worth up to $4.6bn (£3.2bn), making it South Korea's largest.

The Lotte Group in involved a variety of sectors including hotels, chemicals, food and retail. It is Korea's fifth-largest conglomerate but has faced several controversies recently, including a highly publicised succession feud.

It is considered one of Korea's family-run "chaebols" which are known to have complex ownership structures.

Both Lotte Group and the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office have declined to comment.

The raid comes days after Korean prosecutors also raided the offices of the country's biggest shipbuilder Daewoo over allegations of accounting fraud.

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