Saturday, November 18, 2006

Police Raid Siemens Offices in Munich in Fraud Swoop

Police and prosecutors have raided the offices of German technology giant Siemens looking into allegations of fraud worth millions.

Andreas Schwab, a spokesman for the Munich-based company, said Siemens was helping authorities in their probe and former employees were under investigation for violating the company's business conduct guidelines.

Neither Schwab nor the police have given any details as to which guidelines have been violated while rumors circulate that the investigation centers on alleged payments made to secure contracts.

"Certain Siemens employees have engaged in fraud," Schwab said. "We are cooperating fully with the investigation."

Police investigate allegations of bungs for contracts

Siemens said in a statement that the company had a "high interest" in clearing up the affair, which it said involved members of its landline telecommunications unit. Siemens said that six former and still active employees of the company were under investigation.

It's not immediately known if employees being investigated included any executives and neither Schwab nor Siemens elaborated. But state prosecutor Anton Winkler said a total of some 30 offices and private homes had been searched in Munich, and other cities.

Some 200 police officers, tax inspectors and prosecutors were involved in the raids. "No arrests have been made as of yet," said Anton Winkler on Wednesday afternoon.

DW staff (sj)

Deutsche Welle 10/2006