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Police in Italy raid ArcelorMittal offices

Christian Fernsby |
Finance police raided the officers in Italy of ArcelorMittal and seized evidence in relation to probes into the steel giant's controversial bid to back out of a contract to take over the former ILVA group.

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The case has rocked Premier Giuseppe Conte's government and raised fears about the economic impact of the possible closure of the ex-ILVA group, including its troubled huge plant in the southern city of Taranto.

On Monday ArcelorMittal suspended the procedure to turn off the altoforno 2 furnace at the Taranto plant, pending a ruling in Milan about whether the French-Indian multinational's withdrawal plan is legal.

ArcelorMittal said it was cooperating with the investigations.

The Milan probe is looking into alleged false communications to the market, asset stripping and failure to declare earnings.

A probe in Taranto is examining various aspects of the case, including issues regarding the acquisition of raw materials and the sale of end products.

Conte on Friday vowed to stop ArcelorMittal's pullout, saying the company is breaching a contract.

The multinational has cited the lifting of a penal shield against prosecution for a cleanup of the highly polluting works in the Puglia city as a reason for the pullout.

The plant's emissions have been linked to years of higher than normal cancer rates in Taranto.

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