Germany Investigates Blood Plasma Firm for Russian Bribery

Employees at German blood plasma products specialist Biotest, including its finance chief, are under investigation by German prosecutors over allegations of bribery in Russia.

Biotest, whose products are used to treat blood coagulation disorders, auto-immune diseases and immune deficiencies, said in a statement that an employee and her husband, both Russian nationals, have been arrested as part of the investigation, which began in May last year.

Last week prosecutors also searched its offices, looking for evidence of bribery and breach of fiduciary trust, Biotest added.

"Even after intense internal investigations we have not found any indication of warranted suspicion, so Biotest resolutely rejects the accusations," the company said Monday.

It added it had handed documents to the investigators and was seeking to have the couple released as soon as possible.

A total of 17 staff, including the group's chief financial officer Michael Ramroth, were subject to the investigation, the prosecutors in the city of Frankfurt said.

The newspaper Handelsblatt had earlier reported the arrests

Biotest, headquartered in the city of Dreieich near Frankfurt, had about 440 million euros ($593 million) in sales last year.