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German prosecutors raid offices of tankmaker Krauss-Maffei

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German public prosecutors have searched offices of tankmaker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), the company and the prosecutors said on Saturday.

A spokesman for the Munich prosecutor said that private property of suspects was also searched on Thursday in an investigation into alleged tax evasion and other criminal offences.

Greek court officials told Reuters later that they had asked German authorities for support in an investigation into money laundering and bribery allegations.

Greece is investigating allegations in connection with the sale of Leopard tanks to Greece for 1.7 billion euros ($2.1 billion) in the last decade.

The company had been informed about the raid in advance, a spokesman for Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, which is owned by German family holding Wegmann GmbH & Co, said on Saturday.

“We are relaxed about the completion of the investigation,” he said.

As part of the same investigation Greek prosecutors raided the house and the offices of former KMW representative in Greece, Thomas Liakounakos, on Friday, Greek court officials said.

Thomas Liakounakos denied on Saturday any involvement in illegal transactions regarding the Leopard tanks armament deal.

“Regarding the 2003 armaments programs for the Leopard tanks...that are being investigated we are stating categorically that our company was never involved in money-laundering and was never involved in illegal transactions with politicians, state officials or third parties,” Liakounakos said in a statement.

(1 US dollar = 0.7987 euro)

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle in Frankfurt and Angeliki Koutantou in Athens; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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