SEOUL -- A South Korean contractor was raided by investigators looking into whether it leaked Hyundai Motor and General Motors (IW 500/5) (GM) engine design technology to overseas firms, a senior prosecutor familiar with the probe said on Thursday.
The investigation comes as the number of information leaks to overseas entities is on the rise in South Korea, according to the country's intelligence agency, as the country has become a global manufacturing powerhouse and home to leading technology, shipbuilding and automobile firms.
South Korean prosecutors launched a probe into Chief Executive Kim Kyung-woon and employees of engine consulting firm Blue Planet Co Ltd, the senior prosecutor said, without disclosing to which firms technology may have been leaked.
"We are looking at the allegations of a technology leak," the prosecutor told Reuters, declining to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.
"We are analyzing and investigating what we have seized from yesterday's raid ... We have solid ground to launch the probe," he said.
Prosecutors aim to wrap up the probe by the end of the year, he said.
Calls by Reuters to Blue Planet's offices were not answered.
A GM Korea spokesman declined to comment, while a Hyundai spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Tony Munroe and Michael Urquhart
Copyright Reuters, 2014