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Siemens offices raided in fraud bust

The German electronics giant, Siemens, has described how the offices of its managing executives were raided last week.

The firm said that the offices of “board members” were among those searched in a raid on Thursday as a slush fund scandal gathers momentum in Germany. The raid is thought to have involved up to 270 tax officers as well as the police and investigating magistrates.

According to one report in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily newspaper, the office of Klaus Kleinfeld, Siemens’ chief executive was also raided although this has not been confirmed by the company.

According to reports in the German press, the raids were linked to allegations that up to Eur 100m were paid as bribes to secure contracts. In the statement, Siemens said: “A still undetermined number of individual acts of fraud are suspected at the company’s fixed networks business. At issue, according to current information, is an amount in the low double-digit million euro range. A total of six former and current company employees are suspected in the case. Siemens is a witness.”

The German weeklies, Der Spiegel and Focus on Monday quote Munich prosecutors saying that at least Eur 100m was paid out from the company’s telephones division in a bid to secure contracts.

It is believed the money was being put through foreign bank accounts, mainly in Switzerland. According to the German authorities, 12 people are being investigated.

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