French police searched the Paris offices of US Internet giant Google on Tuesday as part of a tax fraud investigation, a police source said. French authorities believe Google owes 1.6 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in back taxes, a source close to the matter said in February. Google is one of several multi-national corporations that have come under fire in Europe for paying extremely low taxes by shifting revenue across borders in an often complex web of financial arrangements.
French investigators raided Google's Paris headquarters on Tuesday as part of a probe over tax payments, a source close to the finance ministry told Reuters. Investigators have been probing Google's offices in central Paris since 0500 am (0300 GMT), said the source, who declined to be named. "A raid is underway at Google's," the source said, confirming a report in French daily Le Parisien.