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EADS, ThyssenKrupp venture raided over suspected bribes in Greek order

Logo of EADS is seen at the European aerospace and defence group EADS headquarters in Les Mureaux near Paris January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Charl
Logo of EADS is seen at the European aerospace and defence group EADS headquarters in Les Mureaux near Paris January 12, 2011. REUTERS/Charl

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A joint venture of EADS and ThyssenKrupp and offices of Rheinmetall were raided this week in Germany on suspicion of paying bribes related to an order of submarine equipment from Greece, a spokesman for the state prosecutor in Bremen said on Saturday.

The Atlas Elektronik joint venture and Rheinmetall Defence Electronics were searched as they are suspected of paying 18 million euros ($24 million) in bribes and of avoiding taxes, the prosecutor's spokesman said.

He was confirming a report in German paper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

EADS and ThyssenKrupp both confirmed the raid on their unit, which they bought from BAE Systems . Rheinmetall was not available to comment, but Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing a spokesman for the company, that it rejected the accusations.

ThyssenKrupp said it had discovered the matter itself "as part of a compliance investigation" and notified the authorities in 2010 about it.

($1 = 0.7461 euros)

(Reporting by Myria Mildenberger and Peter Dinkloh; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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