The offices of a defence giant part of a fighter jet-building consortium with links to Lancashire have been raided by police.
EADS, a member of the Eurofighter Typhoon group which includes BAE Systems, confirmed it is “fully co-operating” with authorities following the raids linked to an allegations it paid bribes to sell the jets to Austria in a deal five years ago.
In Germany, prosecutors said their investigation followed a larger one ongoing in Austria into allegations of bribes to officials between 2005 and 2008.
The Munich prosecutor’s office said: “We are now looking into the question of whether German residents broke German law by bribing officials in Austria.”
It added paperwork and electronic files had been confiscated as part of the raids last Wednesday and could be used for prosecutions in Germany or passed to Austria, but warned it would take “quite a while” to search for evidence.
In 2007, Austria agreed to buy 15 Eurofighters, parts for which are built by BAE’s factories at Warton and Samlesbury, near Preston, and the last of the order was delivered in 2009.