PricewaterhouseCoopers offices searched in Satyam probe

Indian police searched the offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers, the auditors of the beleaguered outsourcing giant Satyam Computers, as the investigation into the country's largest ever alleged corporate fraud continued yesterday.

Officers in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, where Satyam is based, said they had searched the offices of the firm's London-based auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, which also has offices in the city. A senior officer, VS Kumudi, confirmed the search but provided few other details as to what in particular the officers were searching for.

The auditors yesterday failed to respond to inquiries, but last week the firm issued a statement saying it had worked "in accordance with applicable auditing standards and were supported by appropriate audit evidence".

It added: "Given our obligations for client confidentiality, it is not possible for us to comment upon the alleged irregularities. PricewaterhouseCoopers will fully meet its obligations to cooperate with the regulators and others."

Yesterday's search coincided with a decision by the Indian government to order its federal fraud office to launch an inquiry into the scandal. The government said the investigators had been asked to report back in three months. The investigation, said Prem Chand Gupta, the minister for company affairs, was ordered after a report by the registrar of companies.

The move was seen as part of a broader effort to protect the country's reputation for international investment, which has taken a pounding since last week. Since then, other Indian companies have come under scrutiny, with the software firm Wipro hit by an announcement from the World Bank, which has banned any transactions with the company for allegedly pursuing inappropriate steps to bag deals.

In addition to the reputation of Indian business is the matter of the jobs of 55,000 Satyam staff, who work for clients such as ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, and Telstra, Australia's biggest phone company.

The investigation is "a test case" for the Serious Fraud Investigation Office, said CL Bansal, who teaches corporate law at the Management Development Institute in Gurgaon, a satellite city near Delhi. "It will send a message to all other companies and prevent them from any wrongdoing."

In an announcement that shocked India's business community and its international backers, Satyam's founder, B Ramalinga Raju, last week admitted altering the company's accounts for years. Its balance sheets were full of fictitious assets and money that did not exist. Well over $1bn (£689m) was missing.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Evening Administrator

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...

Guru Careers: Executive Assistant / PA

£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable