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German utility EnBW raided in fraud, tax evasion probe


The offices and homes of current and former managers of German regional power supplier EnBW have been raided by prosecutors on suspicion of tax evasion and fraud, prosecutors in Mannheim said Thursday.

"I can confirm that since this morning, we have carried out a number of searches," spokesman Peter Linz told AFP.

"We've searched seven private homes and three firms, including the headquarters of EnBW in Karlruhe," he said.

"The raids are connection with an investigation into tax evasion and breach of trust."

Several dozens of officers carried out the raids, which targeted managers' email accounts, the prosecutor said, explaining that it concerned EnBW's business in Russia.

Earlier, the magazine Spiegel Online had reported that the managers are suspected of having bribed Russian businessman Andrei Bykov to secure advantageous gas delivery contracts.

The prosecutors' spokesman insisted that the raids were not connected with bribery.

In its own statement, EnBW confirmed that raids had been carried by tax investigators and were related to Russian business transactions dating back to 2001 and 2008.

"Over the past months, EnBW has cooperated constructively with the investigating authorities. The company is interested in a rapid, exhaustive and complete clarification of the case," it insisted.