British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) made “illegal” transfers, say Chinese police as they released details of an investigation into bribery allegations.
Four senior Chinese executives from GSK have been held, said Gao Feng, head of the economic crimes investigation unit.
Gao Feng said GSK had transferred as much as 3 billion yuan ($489 million) to travel agencies and consultancies since 2007.
GSK has said it has not found any evidence of corruption.
However, the company said in a statement last week that it was co-operating with authorities.
On July 11, the Ministry of Public Security said GSK executives had confessed to bribery and tax violations. Authorities said they suspect GSK of offering bribes to officials and doctors to try to boost sales in China.
On Monday, Gao Feng did not go into how much of the money was spent allegedly bribing officials and doctors.
He did, however, say that the probe had found that GSK was mainly responsible for the bribes which included cases of s**ual bribery.
“We have sufficient reason to suspect that these transfers were conducted illegally,” Gao Feng said.
“You could say the travel agencies and GSK were criminal partners.”