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UPDATE 1-Britain's SFO opens investigation into British American Tobacco

(Adds details, background)

Aug 1 (Reuters) - Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has opened an investigation into suspicions of corruption at British American Tobacco and its subsidiaries, the regulator said on Tuesday.

The maker of cigarette brands including Dunhill and Lucky Strike said in a statement it intended to cooperate with the investigation, but did not provide further details.

The company said in February last year that it had appointed an external law firm to conduct a full investigation into allegations of historic misconduct in Africa and that it was liaising with the SFO.

BATS said then it was aware of some of the allegations and had looked into them, but was appointing the law firm given the number and nature of the allegations, adding that it would not tolerate corruption in its business anywhere in the world.

Earlier this year, the company said it created a board sub-committee to monitor matters relating to the investigation. It also said it had started a project in 2016 to review and strengthen aspects of its global compliance procedures. (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Arathy S Nair; editing by David Clarke)