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French police raid headquarters of Paris 2024 organisers in corruption probe

The Olympic rings are set up in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower
The Olympic rings are set up in Paris, France, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017 at Trocadero plaza that overlooks the Eiffel Tower Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2017 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Euronews with AFP
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The public prosecutor's office said searches were being carried out as part of two preliminary investigations opened in 2017 and 2022 respectively, on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds and favouritism.

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French police raided the headquarters of the Paris Organising Committee for the 2024 Olympic Games (Cojo) on Tuesday morning as part of investigations into suspected corruption - just more than a year before the sporting event is due to start.

"A police search is currently underway at the headquarters of the Organising Committee," a Paris 2024 spokesperson confirmed. "Paris 2024 is cooperating fully with the investigators to facilitate their investigations."

The public prosecutor's office said searches were being carried out in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis as part of two preliminary investigations opened in 2017 and 2022 respectively, on suspicion of embezzlement of public funds and favouritism.

They both concern contracts awarded as part of the organisation of the Games.

Authorities also searched the company in charge of building the Olympic infrastructure, Solideo, the National Financial Prosecutor's Office said.

According to a source close to the investigation, the searches were carried out by France's Central Office for Combating Corruption and Financial and Tax Offences, and the BRDE, the financial brigade of the Paris judicial police.

In April 2021, two reports by the French anti-corruption agency, AFA, on the organisation of the Olympic Games highlighted "risks of breaches of probity" and "conflicts of interest", damaging the image of the "exemplary" Olympic Games sought by the head of the Organising Committee, Tony Estanguet.

The AFA inspectors found that the general procurement procedure was "imprecise and incomplete", and pointed out that there were "sometimes situations of potential uncontrolled conflicts of interest."

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