Dutch supermarket group
said authorities in the Netherlands are conducting a criminal investigation into the company, including a search of its corporate headquarters in Zaandam over the weekend.
The company said it's "cooperating fully" with the Dutch public prosecutor, and that it will continue to do the same with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
and the Justice Department in connection with their ongoing investigations in the U.S.
The searches of Ahold's offices are related to the suspected falsification of financial data and the possible publication of incorrect annual results, according to reports.
Shares of Ahold were down 87 cents, or 9.5%, to $8.28 in recent
New York Stock Exchange
Reports indicated that authorities also visited the offices of Ahold's accountants, Deloitte & Touche. Deloitte said it is being treated as a potential witness, and is not itself the target of an investigation.
Just last week, Ahold said it had uncovered accounting errors totaling about $1.13 billion. The mistakes were found during an internal probe, which followed revelations of major accounting problems at the company's U.S. Foodservice unit last winter.