By Duncan Mackay

Kang Un-tae head and shouldersAugust 8 - South Korean prosecutors today raided the offices of Gwangju Mayor, Kang Un-tae, over allegations that he forged the signatures of both former Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik and former Culture Minister Choe Kwang-sik in the city's bid document to host the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships.

The document served as the financial guarantees from the Government for the successful bid, which the South Korean city was awarded last month. 

A team of investigators seized a wide range of documents from the Mayor's office at City Hall to prove Kang's alleged involvement, officials of the Gwangju District Prosecutors' Office said.

Kang has denied that he was responsible for forging the signatures and has blamed a low-ranking official. 

Prosecutors also raided the residence of Kim Yoon-suk, the event's Bid Committee secretary general.

Kang and Kim are both expected to be questioned formally later this month.

Gwangju awarded 2019 FINA World ChampionshipsGwangju Mayor Kang Un-tae  and city officials celebrate being awarded the 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships, which is now under investigation after it emerged that signatures from the Prime Minister and Culture Minister were forged on the financial guarantee

The scandal was uncovered on the eve of the vote but world governing body FINA still awarded the Championships to Gwangju, the first time they have been given to South Korea. 

The affair is hugely embarrassing for Kang, who has adopted a high-profile role as Gwangju has moved into the international spotlight.

The city, the sixth largest in South Korea, is also due to host the 2015 Summer Universiade. 

Gwangju estimated the South Korean Government's financial support for the World Aquatics Championships at 5.5 billion won (£3 million/$5 million/€3.8 million).

The Government has insisted that following the scandal it will spend nothing on the event.

FINA has so far not commented on the matter.

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