Police officials reportedly arrested 5 members of the employees at News Corporation's flagship newspaper ‘Sun’. The arrests are part of probe into alleged payments to police officials by reporters for information, officials said.
The Sun's current deputy editor Geoff Webster, chief reporter John Kay and picture editor John Edwards were reportedly among those detained.
British authorities said that the action, named Operation Elveden, is a drive that is part of a wider investigation into unlawful practices of information gathering that have long been part of the British media, politics and law enforcement establishments. On such action led to the closure of News Corp.'s Sunday paper, The News of the World, in 2011.
"I'm as shocked as anyone by today's arrests but am determined to lead The Sun through these difficult times. I have a brilliant staff and we have a duty to serve our readers and will continue to do that. Our focus is on putting out Monday's newspaper," The Sun editor Dominic Mohan said in a statement.
According to Sky News, chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker and reporter John Sturgis were also arrested to be questioned. However, the media outlet avoided confirming identities of those arrested.
Moreover, it has been learned that a female worker at Britain's defense ministry, a male member of the military and a police officer were also detained in a raid conducted early Saturday.
The latest arrests were reportedly made on the basis of information provided by the News Corp.'s Management and Standards Committee.
"The MSC provided the information to the Elveden investigation which led to today's arrests ... News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated," New Corp said in a statement.
Meanwhile, US officials are launching probe into likely violations by Murdoch media staff members of a U.S. law prohibiting corrupt payments to overseas authorities such as police, law enforcement and corporate sources.
In 2011, accusations of phone hacking at the News of the World triggered Britain's parliament to convene Murdoch and his son James for explanations. Murdoch has also been accused by majority of parliamentarians and non-parliamentarians of exercising excessive political power via his newspaper.