French police have searched McDonald's headquarters outside Paris after a probe was opened for alleged aggravated tax fraud and money-laundering against the local branch of the fast-food giant.

The national financial prosecutor's office said Thursday documents were seized when tax fraud police unit searched the headquarters in Guyancourt, west of Paris, last week.

Investigators suspect the burger chain of artificially reducing its profits and taxes in France through license fees and other money transfers to its European parent company in Luxembourg.

The Oak Brook, Illinois, company has said it pays all its income taxes in France in accordance with current legislation.

The French branch said the fees paid to the parent company to cover rights of use and know-how transfers can be deducted from corporation taxes due in France.