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Cisco employees in Brazil arrested

Sting operation involving tax evasion investigation results in Cisco Systems detainees but no formal charges, company says.

Federal Brazilian police have arrested Cisco Systems employees and temporarily closed the networking equipment giant's offices in San Paulo and Rio de Janiero, Brazil, the company said in a statement.

"I'm not going to comment on the investigation, but we do understand a small number of employees have been detained," said John Noh, a Cisco spokesman. "But it's our understanding that no formal charges have been filed."

Noh said he did not know exact number of employees that have been detained.

The arrests were part of a series of raids Brazilian police conducted in conjunction with a tax evasion investigation against Brazilian companies, one of which was a Cisco reseller, according to the company.

"We are currently in the process of establishing what, exactly, has happened in Brazil and determining how this investigation pertains to Cisco," the company said in its statement, posted to its Web site. "We are cooperating fully with the Brazilian authorities."

Brazil represents 1 percent of Cisco's overall business, according to the company.