Police search Thales offices in three countries in corruption probe

FILE PHOTO: Logo of French defence and electronics group Thales near Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - Police in France, Spain and the Netherlands searched the offices of French military equipment provider Thales between Wednesday and Friday as part of a corruption probe, a judicial source told Reuters on Saturday.

A spokesperson for Thales confirmed to Reuters that searches had taken place but gave no further details beyond saying that the company was cooperating with authorities.

The searches were part of two different investigations, the judicial source said, confirming a report by French news channel BFMTV.

One opened in 2016 for suspected corruption of a foreign public official, criminal conspiracy and money laundering related to the sale of submarines and the construction of a naval base in Brazil, the source said.

The second opened in June 2023 for suspected corruption and influence peddling, criminal conspiracy and money laundering linked to the sale of military and civilian equipment abroad, the source said.

"Thales points out that it strictly complies with national and international regulations," the Thales spokesperson said. "The company has developed and implemented a global compliance program that meets with the highest industry standards."

Investigations are still ongoing.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro and Benjamin Mallet, editing by Christina Fincher)