Six managers of an Italian company that makes military-grade drones for Nato have been reported to prosecutors after a lengthy investigation by financial crimes police.
Investigators said a firm based in Hong Kong had bought a majority stake in the drone company at 90 times its value.
But the real buyer, they said, was two state-owned companies in China.
They alleged a complex and opaque web of corporate holdings had been used to cover up the true identity of the new owner of 75% of the company.
The financial crimes unit also suspects the 2018 deal may have broken Italian "golden power" rules that bar or limit the sales of strategic assets to foreign investors.