U.K. police widened their probe of phone hacking at News Corp. (NWSA:US)’s News of the World Sunday tabloid to include potential money laundering offenses.
The Metropolitan Police arrested a 42-year-old woman on suspicion of money laundering, according to a statement today. More than 20 people have so far been detained as part of Operation Weeting, the phone-hacking investigation.
News Corp., based in New York, shut the News of the World last year and abandoned its bid for the pay-television company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) after its journalists were revealed to have intercepted voice mail.
Police also have parallel probes into whether News Corp. journalists bribed public officials and hacked computers for stories. News Corp. spokeswoman Mary Kearney declined to comment on today’s arrest.
The investigation has led to charges against Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s British publishing unit, for perverting the course of justice. Ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who served as press chief to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, has also been arrested.
About 30 people have been arrested as part of the probe into bribery of public officials by journalists at News Corp.’s daily Sun tabloid. News Corp.’s internal Management Standards Committee is providing information to the police after the company faced earlier criticism from victims that it sought to cover up the scandal.
Previous arrests in the bribery probe, dubbed Operation Elveden, included the Sun’s Royal editor, pictures editor, a chief reporter and an ex-member of the armed forces, as well as police officers.
The hacking affair emerged in 2006 with the arrest of the News of the World’s royal reporter Clive Goodman and the tabloid’s private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who both pleaded guilty and were jailed the following year. While News Corp.’s News International unit in the U.K. said the practice was contained, civil lawsuits filed by victims in 2010 revealed phone hacking was far more widespread.
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