Novo Nordisk says no sign of crime, links between fires at Denmark facilities

FILE PHOTO: Fire at Novo Nordisk, in Bagsvaerd

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -There has been no indication so far that three fires that broke out at Novo Nordisk's Danish facilities over the past month were connected or that they were caused by criminal activity, the company said on Wednesday.

A blaze at a building near the company's Bagsvaerd head office northwest of Copenhagen on Tuesday was the third in just over one month at different facilities occupied by the maker of the weight-loss treatment Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic.

The fires are taking place as authorities across several European countries including Poland, Germany and the UK have made arrests in connection with acts of sabotage such as arson and attempted arson committed on the orders of Russian services. Moscow denies any links to such incidents.

"When you see a coincidence of three fires against the same company within a short period of time, it's natural that many people think it could be part of this Russian hybrid warfare," said Jacob Kaarsbo, senior analyst at Danish think tank Europa.

"I think the authorities are very aware of this," he added. "There is this tendency to believe that it could be Russia, but whether it is, we'll have to see."

So far, Danish police have not linked the fires to any criminal activity.

"There are no signs of criminal activity at any of the three fires and no signs that they are linked to each other," a Novo Nordisk spokesperson said, adding that police were still investigating all three fires.

The Danish intelligence service (PET) in May said the threat of physical sabotage from Russia had increased, although PET also said then it had not yet encountered any of such concrete actions in Denmark.

The latest fire was quickly brought under control by the fire brigade.

(Reporting by Louise Breusch Rasmussen and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Bernadette Baum)