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HP executives held in Pakistan tax probe: WSJ

A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A Hewlett-Packard logo is seen at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

(Reuters) - Two executives of the Pakistani arm of computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co were arrested by local officials in Karachi on Friday on suspicion of corporate tax evasion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The arrested executives were identified as Shahid Ali Khan, HP Pakistan's country general manager for printing and personal systems and country controller, Salim Rawjani. Hewlett-Packard had no comment when contacted about the Journal report.

The arrests followed a raid at a large Pakistani computer seller's offices in Karachi that revealed records allegedly showing equipment as not being properly taxed, the Journal reported. (http://link.reuters.com/vyh38v)

Tanveer Malik, director of intelligence and investigation for the Pakistan's Federal Board of Revenue told Journal the raid was carried out after the agency received "overwhelming evidence" of wrongdoing.

"We have no comment at this time, other than to say that HP adheres to the highest ethical standards," said an HP spokesperson when contacted by Reuters.

Pakistani tax officials told Journal the tax evasion accusations could be expanded on further investigation following the arrests, which was a preliminary step in Pakistani legal proceedings, the Journal reported.

(Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore and Edwin Chan in San Francisco)

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