PARIS, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Two aides of Marine Le Pen, far-right National Front candidate for the presidential election, were on Wednesday placed into custody over allegations of misusing European Parliament funds, a local news channel reported.
Le Pen's bodyguard Thierry Legier and her assistant Catherine Griset were detained and investigated over salaries they received from the European Parliament for their work as Le Pen's parliamentary assistants.
The custody came two days after police raided the headquarters Front National Party in Nanterre, west of Paris, in relation with an inquiry into alleged misuse of European funds to pay party staff.
The European Parliament has accused Le Pen of paying party staff working in France with European Union (EU) funds worth 340,000 euros (357,000 U.S. dollars), after she claimed they were European parliamentary assistants.
In December 2016, French prosecutor opened an investigation for breach of trust, fraud and forgery following the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) initial findings.
Le Pen, whose presidential bid is gaining momentum, dismissed any wrongdoing and described the affair as "a political plot."
Pollsters say the 49-year-old lawyer was likely to win the first round of voting on April 27. However, she would lose the run-off in May to whoever should be her opponent, although she narrowed the gap on her main rivals the conservative Francois Fillon and the centrist ex-economy minister Emmanuel Macron.
Styling herself as "the candidate of people," Le Pen pledged to slash migration, send homes all illegal migrants and impose taxes on the job being done by foreigners.