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Prosecutors raid Orion Group over alleged illicit bond deal

Prosecutors on Tuesday raided Orion Group, the nation's major confectionery company, and its affiliates over its chairman's alleged illegal bonds transaction during the process of taking over large shares of an Orion subsidiary.

Tam Chul-gon, 56, is suspected of buying bonds with warrants issued by On Media, Orion's media affiliate established in 2000 to diversify its business portfolio, at below-market prices and exercised his bond warrants in 2005 for 16,000 shares to rake in billions of won in profits, the Seoul Central Prosecutors' Office said.

   In the Tuesday raid, prosecutors confiscated company accounting books and files from Orion's Seoul headquarters and eight other affiliates, officials said.

   Tam is the son-in-law of late Orion founder Lee Yang-ho, who established the nation's major confectionery in 1956 and introduced several snacks and cookies that have been loved by Koreans for decades.

   The company's flagship brand, the "Choco Pie," chocolate-dipped cookies with a marshmallow filling, has sold more than 12.1 billion pies around the world since hitting the market in the 1970s.

(Yonhap News)
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