[LONDON] Britain's Serious Fraud Office has launched a criminal investigation into Indian giant Tata Steel, which is seeking to sell its UK operations, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
The newspaper, which cited well-placed sources, said police were probing allegations that Tata staff in Britain may have falsified certificates detailing the composition of its steel before sale.
The investigation centres on Tata Steel's site in Yorkshire and the group referred itself to the SFO after an internal audit, the paper added.
The SFO declined to comment on the story when contacted by AFP. Tata did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.
In a shock announcement last week, Tata Steel last week put its British business up for sale, sparking calls for the government to intervene and safeguard thousands of jobs in the crisis-hit industry.
Tata will meanwhile start the process of selling its British steel assets by Monday, the British government's Business Secretary Sajid Javid said earlier this week after holding talks in Mumbai.