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Criminal investigation launched into Tesco's €333m blunder

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has stepped in.

Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE SERIOUS FRAUD Office in the UK is set to investigate how Tesco overstated its profits by €333 million.

The Government Department confirmed today that it has “opened a criminal investigation into accounting practices at Tesco plc”.

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had been investigating the supermarket giant, but the Serious Fraud Office will now take over the inquiry.

Last month it was revealed that Tesco, the world’s second biggest retailer behind Walmart, overstated its profits by €318 million (£250 million).

This was later revised upwards to almost €333 million (£263 million).

Following the incident, Tesco hired accounting firm Deloitte to conduct an investigation, these findings have been handed to regulators.

Eight executives including UK managing director Chris Bush have been asked to step aside pending the investigations.

Tesco has released a statement saying it is “cooperating fully with the SFO and will continue to do so”.

The accounting blunder led to the company’s Chairman Richard Broadbent announcing his resignation last week. He will step down from the role once a successor is found.

Additional reporting: AFP

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Órla Ryan

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