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Police have arrested three men - including a reporter from the News of the World - as part of an investigation into allegations that the phone calls of staff working for Prince Charles were intercepted.

The trio, which include Royal correspondent Clive Goodman, were arrested at addresses in south London on Tuesday morning.

The arrests follow complaints from workers at the prince's official residence, Clarence House, last December, the BBC reports. The subsequent police inquiry is investigating allegations that other public figures, including MPs, were the target of phone taps. The seriousness of the allegation prompted Scotland Yard to hand the investigation over to anti-terrorist branch officers, the BBC reports. As part of the inquiry, police executed a search warrant at the News of the World's Wapping offices. Business premises in Sutton and Chelsea were also searched.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Police launched an investigation after concerns were reported to the Met's Royalty Protection Department by members of the Royal Household at Clarence House."

"It is focused on alleged repeated security breaches within telephone networks over a significant period of time and the potential impact this may have on protective security around a number of individuals," it added. Police are liaising with telephone companies as part of the ongoing investigation. The arrested men - aged 35, 48 and 50 - were questioned over alleged violations of Section One of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The 50 year-old man has been released on police bail. ®

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