SFO extends its Alstom searches

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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) extended its search operations yesterday, after the arrest of three UK board members of France's Alstom on Wednesday on suspicion of bribery and corruption.

More than 50 personnel, including SFO staff and officers from the Warwickshire and Leicestershire Police, were involved in searches on Alstom properties in Rugby and Ashby-de-la-Zouch. The three men were arrested in dawn raids on nine business and residential premises across seven counties. The investigation, called Operation Ruthenium, also includes the Swiss Federal Policy and Attorney General's office and is focusing on suspected payment of bribes to win overseas contracts.