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Hundreds of tax officials, law enforcement search Google France offices

Staff writer |
Google's Paris office has been searched by gendarmes as part of a €1.6bn tax fraud probe, according to reports.

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Google's France headquarters in the ninth arrondissement were searched from 05:00 local time, following a complaint about the U.S. giant's tax evasion, a report from Le Parisien website stated, citing a police source, while agency AFP also reported the raid.

Hundreds of tax officials and law enforcement brigade of the financial crime unit were on the premises, it was reported, backed up by five magistrat judges.

France is seeking €1.6bn (£1.3bn) in back taxes from Google, a finance ministry source told Reuters in February.

In January Google agreed to pay the UK government £130m in back taxes for the period between January 2005 and June 2015, but French finance minister Michel Sapin ruled out striking a deal with the US internet giant, saying the sums at stake in France were "far greater" than those in Britain.

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