Two of the 18-member gang had worked for the auto maker for years, while another had worked as a contractor for the firm, investigator Robert Weber said.
Those three suspects are on remand. They face charges of theft, handling stolen goods and deception. The gang stole everything from blank keys to wheel covers to gear sticks, daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The big earner, though, was stealing and reselling car seats.
They forged production orders to have the seats made by factory colleagues. The seats were then pulled from production on the pretence of quality control.
Weber estimated the total losses to BMW at between €2 million and €3 million. The gang allegedly transferred their profits to foreign bank accounts, partly in Turkey.
The fraud was first identified by BMW’s own investigators, who then passed the matter on to police, company spokesman Michael Rebstock told Süddeutsche Zeitung. He said it was rare to see theft at a BMW plant.
“But with 31,000 workers in the Munich area, there can sometimes be a black sheep,” he said.