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(LEAD) Special prosecutors raid state health insurance service over scandal

All News 22:41 January 02, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS details from para 3)

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Yonhap) -- Special prosecutors raided the office of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) on Monday as part of their probe into a corruption scandal that prompted lawmakers to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

The special prosecution team visited the office and seized data on a list of patients and others in connection with Kim Young-jae, head of a plastic surgery and dermatology clinic that was regularly visited by Park's longtime friend at the center of the scandal, Choi Soon-sil.

Kim has been suspected of conducting injection treatments for Park to help her fight aging, based on his personal friendship with Choi, although he was not authorized to treat Park.

The plastic surgeon told a parliamentary hearing that he administered medical treatments several times inside the presidential office.

Kim was confirmed as a so-called "security guest," a personal who can visit the presidential office without security credentials.

Choi has been indicted on charges of abuse of power and extorting money from big business conglomerates.

Last month, the National Assembly voted to impeach Park over prosecutors' allegations that the president was colluding with Choi over the charges.

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