INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google has agreed with suggestions that it profits from illegal adverts and web sites served up by online searches.
In an interview with the BBC, the firm said that it keeps any money raised from adverts on illegal sales, despite punters being left out of pocket.
As part of a consumer investigation the BBC's 5 Live radio show pressed the company about sponsored links that lead to shoddy web sites and offer things ranging from Olympics tickets to cannabis.
There is no suggestion that the firm supports the illegal activity. Google removed a number of links after 5 Live's investigators told it about them, but it does seem to keep any money that it makes from the adverts, according to the report, which said that the ads can slip through because of the automated process involved.
"We have a set of policies covering which ads can and cannot show on Google. These policies and guidelines are enforced by both automated systems and human beings," it said in a statement provided to the BBC. "When we are informed of ads which break our policies, we investigate and remove them if appropriate."
We have asked Google to comment on the report, which comes after the London Metropolitan Police advised punters to only use the official channels to buy Olympics tickets. µ
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