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Japanese authorities raid Olympus offices

From Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN
updated 2:59 AM EST, Wed December 21, 2011
Investigators enter the headquarter of Olympus in Tokyo on December 21, 2011.
Investigators enter the headquarter of Olympus in Tokyo on December 21, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Olympus is at the heart of a drama involving the cover-up of $1.7 billion in losses
  • Law enforcement and financial regulatory officials raided Olympus offices Wednesday
  • Authorities in the U.S. and Britain are also investigating the company

Tokyo (CNN) -- The Japanese authorities on Wednesday raided offices of Olympus, the camera and medical instruments maker that is embroiled in a vast accounting scandal, the company said.

An investigation team from the Tokyo prosecutor's office, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and the Japanese Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission visited Olympus premises, according to Tsuyoshi Kitada, a spokesman for Olympus. He declined to give further details on the raid.

The drama surrounding Olympus began after the company fired its chief executive, Michael Woodford, in October and he came forward as a whistleblower on a decades-long cover-up by the company of $1.7 billion in losses.

At the height of the resulting crisis, the stock value of Olympus fell more than 75%. Three other top executives lost their jobs in the wake of the controversy.

Officials in Japan, the United States and Britain are investigating the possibility of criminal wrongdoing at the company.

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