One hundred French finance officials performed an undercover raid of Google’s Paris headquarters on Tuesday.
French police confirmed the raid shortly after to BBC, and Google released the following short statement on the incident: “We comply with French law and are co-operating fully with the authorities to answer their questions.”
According to the BBC, Google is one of many international corporations accused of using legal methods to take advantage of international tax law.
The tech giant has driven down costs by reportedly paying taxes related to commerce in the United Kingdom in Ireland, and is now on the hook for nearly €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) in back taxes.
“These searches form part of a preliminary enquiry opened on 16 June 2015 relating to acts of aggravated financial fraud and organized laundering of aggravated financial fraud, following a complaint from the French tax authorities,” the state financial prosecutor said in a statement.
“The enquiry is focused on verifying whether the company Google Ireland Ltd controls a permanent establishment in France and if, by not declaring a part of the activities conducted on French territory, it has failed in its fiscal obligations, notably regarding taxes on companies and value-added tax.”