IKEA execs charged over allegations of illegal snooping on staff, customers

Subsidiary in France instituting new code of conduct

PARIS (AP) — France issued preliminary charges Tuesday against the CEO and CFO of IKEA France in a case alleging they snooped illegally on employees and customers.

IKEA France confirmed the charges were brought late Tuesday against CEO Stefan Vanoverbeke and finance chief Dariusz Rycher, who were both held for questioning Monday and Tuesday. The company said in a statement it would co-operate in the case.

An official close to the investigation said former CEO Jean-Louis Baillot — among four executives fired after the alleged spying came to light — also faced preliminary charges. Similar legal action has been taken against at least two police officers.

In addition to the sackings, IKEA France has instituted a code of conduct in response to the investigation, which began in April 2012. Two unions have filed complaints against IKEA, accusing them of spying on hundreds of employees and customers over at least five years by gaining access to private police files.

IKEA France is a subsidiary of Swedish furniture giant IKEA.

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