Police investigating a multi-billion euro accounting scandal at food group Parmalat on Wednesday arrested the wife of former CFO Fausto Tonna on suspicion of money laundering, a judicial source said.
Italian police also seized two safe deposit boxes held under Donatella Alinovi's name at a Parma savings bank, containing money orders worth almost one million euros.
The source told Reuters that Alinovi drew the money from "suspect" accounts belonging to Parmalat units 10 days ago -- around the time of her husband's arrest -- before converting it into money orders.
"The accounts of Parmalat subsidiaries were being looked at, and (Alinovi) was seen to have drawn around one million euros," the source said, adding the former CFO's wife may have helped him to siphon cash from Parmalat's accounts.
Tonna, arrested on New Year's Eve, is believed by magistrates to have been at the core of decade-long efforts to disguise losses at the food group. One of Parmalat founder Calisto Tanzi's closest business associates, Tonna stepped down as chief financial officer in March.
Tonna has told magistrates during questioning that he was instructed by Tanzi to carry out the fraud.
Alinovi, held under house arrest at her home outside Parma, was the 10th person to be arrested in the multi-billion-euro accounting scandal at food group Parmalat which erupted nearly a month ago.
A newspaper report last month tied Alinovi and Tonna to a Luxembourg fund called "Third Millenium", which, after slipping into a loss, was bankrolled by the offshore Epicurum fund in which Parmalat said it had a 500 million euro investment.
The report, which prompted Tonna's resignation as a Parmalat board member, said Third Millenium was liquidated last summer.