Olympus HQ raided by Japanese prosecutors in dramatic scenes

A horde of dark-suited men descended on Olympus' Japanese HQ to get to the bottom of the camera maker's financial shenanigans.

What a scene at Olympus' Japanese HQ. A horde of dark-suited officials marched into the Tokyo office to get to the bottom of the camera maker's financial deceit, the Telegraph reports. The raid was even broadcast live on national TV (watch it here), presumably in case no one in the office had a camera handy.

The raiders -- who look like they're from a budget version of The Matrix -- aim to get to the bottom of Olympus' efforts to conceal hundreds of millions of pounds of investment losses.

Olympus said it would fully co-operate with the investigation. "We apologise deeply again for the great troubles and worries we have caused our shareholders, investors, customers and others," it said in a statement.

Officials also raided the house of former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa. He's suspected of helping orchestrate the cover-up.

In October then-Olympus president Michael Woodford blew the whistle on a cover-up of a quite ridiculous scale. It involves attempting to hide ¥117.7bn (£965m) of investment losses dating back to the 1990s. Even to a company of Olympus' size, that's no drop in the ocean.

Woodford, a Briton (one of the rare foreigners to head a major Japanese company, alongside Sony's Howard Stringer), was fired after raising his doubts to the board. He's attempting a bit of a coup, demanding the entire board resign, and trying to appeal to shareholders and employees that his return would help clean up the company.

Olympus' last slew of announcements came at the end of June, when it unveiled the Pen Lite E-PL3, the Mini E-PM1, and the E-P3, all of which were lens swappers and all looked mighty impressive.

Could this be the end for Olympus? Or can it come back from the brink? And should we televise office raids in the UK? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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