The Japanese headquarters of Olympus, the camera manufacturer, have been raided by Japanese prosecutors investigating the firm's accounting practices.

Over the past couple of weeks, Olympus has admitted that it hid losses of $1.5bn over the past two decades, while the balance sheets have shown a $1.1bn deficit, while also declaring a loss of 32.3bn yen (£267m) for the past six months.

It's not known exactly why the offices have been raided, but Martin Schulz, an industry analyst speaking to the BBC said it ws a significant development that could mean there's a new twist to the tale. "I would suspect that any documents needed by the prosecutors could have been just requested for and devliered by Olympus," he said.

Committee

Japan has been rocked by the allegations that the Olympus scandal could have criminal connections, which had been denied by all at the company and later refuted by the independent advisory committee investigating the allegations.

Shares in Olympus have taken a nosedive since October, when the firm ousted its CEO Michael Woodford over what it called a "culture clash," but turned out to be the result of him trying to launch investigations into what had happened at the company in the past 20 years.

Other analysts said that raids on Olympus HQ was a sign that Japanese authorities wanted to ensure that companies were working within a given framework and following regulations.

Keep following for more on the Olympus story as it happens.

Via BBC News