Corruption probe takes in ThyssenKrupp subsidiary

An investigation into corporate corruption allegations in Asia appears to have widened and now includes a subsidiary of German steel concern ThyssenKrupp.

Corruption probe takes in ThyssenKrupp subsidiary
Photo: DPA

The probe by German prosecutors was originally looking into engine-maker Tognum and alleged kickbacks and bribes in connection with a weapons deal.

But it now appears that ThyssenKrupp’s submarine-making subsidiary HDW transferred money to a South Korean businessman who is a focus of the original probe. The company allegedly then received a submarine contract worth €2.5 billion from South Korean authorities, according to a report in weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

ThyssenKrupp said it was launching an internal review and also working with authorities. Auditors and attorneys will go to South Korea for an on-site investigation in November, the company said.

The investigation into Tognum has raised eyebrows because of the gravity of some of the allegations.

According to a 200-page report, a company board member with responsibility for Asia may have been involved in facilitating millions of euros in kickbacks and bribes in connection with the arms deal.

The report described raucous parties with South Korean defence officials at red-light district nightclubs.

HDW, which has been owned for several years by ThyssenKrupp, operates Germany’s largest shipyard in Kiel. It employs thousands of workers throughout Europe.

DPA/The Local/mdm

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German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

Police were on Tuesday investigating a motive behind the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old girl on her way to school in Baden-Württemberg in a case that made national headlines.

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

According to police, a 27-year-old man attacked two girls on the street with a knife as they walked to school Monday morning in the small town of Illerkirchberg near Ulm.

The victim, a German girl with a Turkish family background, was revived at the scene but later died in hospital, police said.

A 13-year-old girl was also hurt in the incident but did not suffer
life-threatening injuries.

Police apprehended the suspect at “nearby asylum seekers’ accommodation”, they said.

The alleged aggressor was injured when he was stopped by police and was taken to receive medical treatment. He was currently being held in hospital under guard.

Google Maps shows the town of Illerkirchberg, which has a little over 5,000 residents, and sits on the border with Bavaria.

“We will fully investigate this terrible act,” announced Thomas Strobl, Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister on Monday. “We are deeply affected…when the life of an innocent child is so brutally taken.”

The crime has taken on a political dimension because the suspect is an asylum seeker from Eritrea. Several politicians from Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) used the crime to question the country’s immigration policies. 

In the statement, a police spokesperson asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.”

She said she was aware “that events of this kind stir up fears and emotions.”

The Turkish ambassador to Germany, Ahmet Basar Sen, was set to visit the scene of the crime Tuesday with  Strobl, and the mayor of Illerkirchberg.

“I mourn the girl who was killed and sincerely hope that the injured girl will recover,” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser posted on Twitter Monday.

“The police are urgently investigating the background” of the attack, she said.