The federal prosecutor's office is investigating three people on suspicion of being an agent. A spokesman for the authority confirmed in Karlsruhe on Wednesday that there were searches in apartments and offices in Berlin, Brussels, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The news magazine Der Spiegel first reported on the investigation.

Accordingly, it concerns a former EU diplomat and two people, all three employees of a German lobby company. Two of the suspects are said to have supplied private and business information to the Chinese Ministry of State Security, and one has agreed to share the information, the magazine said. The Federal Prosecutor's Office did not provide any information about the people and other details. The lobby company concerned has advised well-known major German companies in the past.

A spokeswoman for the EU's External Action Service said when asked not to comment on the report at this time. However, they are always ready to work with national authorities.