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Germany's Biotest under investigation over bribery allegations

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Employees at German blood plasma products specialist Biotest, including its finance chief, are under investigation by German prosecutors over allegations of bribery in Russia.

Biotest, whose products are used to treat blood coagulation disorders, auto-immune diseases and immune deficiencies, said in a statement on Monday that an employee and her husband, both Russian nationals, have been arrested as part of the investigation, which began in May last year.

Last week prosecutors also searched its offices, looking for evidence of bribery and breach of fiduciary trust, Biotest added.

"Even after intense internal investigations we have not found any indication of warranted suspicion, so that Biotest resolutely rejects the accusations," the company said.

It added it had handed documents to the investigators and was seeking to have the couple released as soon as possible.

A total of 17 staff, including the group's chief financial officer Michael Ramrothchief, were subject to the investigation, the prosecutors in the city of Frankfurt said.

Earlier on Monday newspaper Handelsblatt had reported the arrests.

Biotest, headquartered in the city of Dreieich near Frankfurt, had about 440 million euros ($593 million) in sales last year.

($1=0.7414 euros)

(Reporting by Jan Schwartz and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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