German police raid Ford plants: prosecutors

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Some 100 police officers raided sites linked to the US automaker Ford in Germany early Monday in connection with a corruption probe, prosecutors in the western city of Cologne said.

Searches were carried out at Ford plants, at an unidentified company in Leverkusen, western Germany and at about 30 other locations that included private homes, a statement said.

Prosecutors said they had been working since September on an investigation that involved Ford staff and others suspected of corruption.

According to the prosecutor's office in Cologne, Ford staff are suspected of regularly receiving "material advantages" from companies that work with the automaker or which sought contracts with it.

In exchange, the Ford workers allegedly favoured benefactors when contracts were being decided upon or established false bills in their favour.

© 2010 AFP

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