5 journalists of The Sun were arrested by the police
Women pass a billboard advertisement for The Sun newspaper outside News International's Wapping headquarters in London January 28, 2012.

Eight persons, including five employees of The Sun newspaper, were arrested on Saturday in connection with an inquiry into the allegations of illegal payments to the police and public officials.

The arrests were made between 6 am and 8 am (local time) and the accused are currently being questioned at police stations in London, Kent, Essex and Wiltshire.

Apart from The Sun employees, a serving Surrey Police officer, a serving armed forces member and an MoD employee were also arrested by the Scotland Yard.

The arrests were done as part of the "Operation Elveden," which probes the illegal payments on suspicion of corruption, aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office, and conspiracy in relation to both offences, the BBC has reported.

However, News Corporation said its Management and Standards Committee (MSC) cooperated with the Elveden inquiry with information which led to the arrests.

"News Corporation remains committed to ensuring that unacceptable news-gathering practices by individuals in the past will not be repeated and last summer authorised the MSC to co-operate with the relevant authorities," News Corporation said in a statement.

"The MSC will continue to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to protect legitimate journalistic privilege and sources, private or personal information and legal privilege. News Corporation maintains its total support to the ongoing work of the MSC and is committed to making certain that legitimate journalism is vigorously pursued in both the public interest and in full compliance with the law," the statement read.

It may be recalled that The Sun's sister publication News of the World was closed in July following the phone hacking scandal.