(BLOOMBERG) — French investigators avoided the Internet, stuck to word processors and renamed Google ‘Tulip’ to prevent leaks as they prepared a secret tax raid at the company’s Paris offices last week.
“We decided to never utter the word ‘Google,’ to give the firm another name” and “we worked on this case fully offline for nearly a year,” Eliane Houlette, the financial prosecutor, said in a Sunday interview on French radio Europe1.
French police and prosecutors swooped on Google’s Paris offices last Tuesday, intensifying a tax-fraud probe amid accusations across Europe that the Alphabet Inc. unit fails to pay its fair share. France has called on the company to pay back taxes of about 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
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