Axed Olympus boss fears for his safety

Steve Dinneen
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The British chief executive axed from scandal-hit Olympus said yesterday he may seek police protection after passing “new information” to fraud investigators.

Japanese giant Olympus has come under pressure from its biggest shareholders to explain hundreds of millions of dollars in controversial payments brought to light by former boss Michael Woodford.

The whistle-blower has written to Japan’s Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) asking them to look into the abnormally high fees involved in Olympus’s £1.4bn acquisition of UK medical equipment maker Gyrus in 2008.

He has already met with the Serious Fraud Office in the UK.

Shares in the medical equipment and camera maker fell for a fifth straight day as the scandal over the unusually high £436.5m fees paid to deal advisers showed no sign of abating.

Olympus has admitted paying the fees but has played down their significance, saying the acquisition represented good value.