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EssilorLuxottica discovers fraud at plant in Thailand

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FILE PHOTO: Sunglasses from Ray Ban are on display at an optician shop in Hanau
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PARIS (Reuters) - EssilorLuxottica said it had discovered fraudulent activity at a plant in Thailand, which was expected to have a negative impact of 190 million euros ($213 million) on the spectacles company.

EssilorLuxottica's shares fell by around 1 percent in early session trading, following the announcement.

The group, which was formed from the merger of French lens maker Essilor and Italian eyewear group Luxottica, added that the employees suspected of involvement in the Thai fraud case had been sacked.

"Essilor International filed complaints in Thailand and in other jurisdictions and mobilized all available internal and external resources to put an immediate end to these fraudulent activities and implement remedial actions," the company said.

"It is also carrying out comprehensive investigations and is taking all possible actions to seek to recover the misappropriated funds in order to mitigate the impact on the group," it added in a statement.

EssilorLuxottica added that the negative impact from the Thailand fraud would be recorded in its 2019 operating results.

($1 = 0.8929 euros)

(Reporting by Matthieu Protard; Editing by Louise Heavens/Sudip Kar-Gupta)