27 March 2008
A buyer from Sainsbury's has been arrested on suspicion of corruption and money laundering.
Police questioned the purchaser over claims he took payments of about £3 million from potato supplier Greenvale. The vendor confirmed that one of its staff had also been arrested.
Greenvale explained its holding organisation Produce Investments brought the matter to the attention of Sainsbury's, after an investigation into the suppliers' external payments.
Sainsbury's notified the police and arrests were made at addresses in Shropshire and Cambridgeshire.
"We can confirm that allegations have been made concerning certain payments and benefits by a supplier to an individual employed by us," said a Sainsbury's spokeswoman. "We have the highest standards of corporate governance and following enquiries have passed our findings to the police for investigation."
Greenvale supplies 45 per cent of Sainsbury's potatoes and has suspended a number of its employees in connection with the allegation.
Mike Brookes, senior procurement specialist at CIPS, said: "It seems both organisations acted quickly and we will await the outcome of the police investigation."