French police raid Havas offices over CES Las Vegas inquiry

The headquarters of the Havas advertising group was raided on Tuesday by the French anti-corruption police over an inquiry into a visit by president Emmanuel Macron to CES Las Vegas.

The lobby of Havas' Paris office
The lobby of Havas' Paris office

The investigation is into a charge of favouritism, complicity and profiting from favouritism, reported RFI.

The inquiry was opened in mid-March after the Canard Enchaîné weekly ran an exposé accusing Business France of awarding the contract to Havas without a bid. 

AdAge and French newspapers have since reported that the contract awarded was to organise a party promoting French tech startups during CES Las Vegas last year. 

Canard Enchaîné also reported that the visit by Macron, who was at the time economy minister, cost €381,759 (£335,000), of which €100,000 was for hotel bills.

Business France's offices were raided at the same time as Havas' premises. The company said in a statement several months ago that it faced a tight deadline for the party and had hired Havas because it was familiar with the agency, AdAge reported.

Campaign has contacted Havas for comment.