June 28, 2016 / 12:12 PM / in a year

Spain arrests 13 suspected of fraud at high-speed rail project

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish investigators arrested 13 people over suspected fraud related to work on a high-speed rail connection between Madrid and Barcelona, a court said on Tuesday.

The court, from the northeastern region of Catalonia, said in a statement it was investigating allegations of embezzlement.

The investigation stemmed from a complaint related to three building sites around La Sagrera, a Barcelona station, according to the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office. Overcharging worth 82 million euros ($91 million) may have taken place, the prosecutors said.

The complaint was filed by the head of ADIF, the state-run high-speed rail administration company, the prosecutors said.

The prosecutors had earlier put the number of arrests at 14.

The 621-kilometre high speed train line cost around 9 billion euros.

Prosecutors said they believed officials and employees of private contractors were involved in the suspected fraud.

A total of 15 business locations and homes were searched in raids on Tuesday. Neither the court or the anti-corruption office named any of the companies involved.

($1 = 0.9007 euros)

Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Dave Graham; Editing by Larry King

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