Dark-suited officials solemnly filed into the downtown Toyko headquarters of Olympus this morning as part of the investigation into the scandal which rocked the camera and medical-equipment maker back in October.
As well as raiding the headquarters, which was shown live on Japanese TV, the prosecutor’s office also raided the home of ex-president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, who resigned back in October, after it emerged that he, and two other ex-presidents, had known about the cover-up.
National broadcaster NHK showed dozens of investigators marching double-file into the offices, as well as into the home of Kikukawa.
In a statement Olympus said: “We will continue to cooperate fully with investigative authorities in order to bring the facts to light. We would again like to apologise deeply for causing great trouble and worry for our shareholders, investors and those we do business with.”
Only last week Olympus managed to file corrected accounts for the last five years as well as overdue first half results for 2011, which meant the company narrowly avoided being delisted by the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The cover-up dates back to the 1990s and involved a very elaborate scheme to cover up losses of £965million. It was brought to light in October by then-CEO Michael Woodford after he noticed strange spending patterns. He has since lost his job but is campaigning to get it back.
The fate of Olympus will probably be decided at the next shareholders meeting, a date for which has not been set, but could see the company seek outside investment or alliances to help bolster its creaking financial position.
Source: The Telegraph