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FRAUD

Fraudsters steal €40 million from German car parts maker

German auto parts maker Leoni was punished on the stock market on Tuesday after admitting that fraudsters had walked away with €40 million.

Fraudsters steal €40 million from German car parts maker
Photo: DPA

“Leoni discovered on Friday August 12 that it had fallen victim to fraudulent dealings using faked documents and identities as well as electronic communications,” the company said in a statement.

“As a result, money belonging to the company was transferred to destination accounts abroad.”

The Nuremberg-based firm, which supplies electronics and wiring for cars and other industries and is listed on the German MDAX index of medium-sized firms, employs more than 76,000 people around the world.

Directors are examining insurance and compensation options, the statement said, while the crime has been reported to the police.

Leoni said that neither its data security nor its IT infrastructure were damaged by the scammers.

The company could not immediately say what effect the theft would have on its annual result.

But it insisted that “Leoni's liquidity position is not significantly impaired.”

The firm reported revenues of 4.5 billion euros in 2015.

Shares in Leoni had plunged more than 7.0 percent just after 1500 GMT on Tuesday.

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GERMANY

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents

German police have set up a special team to fight a growing number of forged vaccine certificates being sold in the black market

Germany cracks down on fake Covid vaccine documents
People who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Police in Cologne have warned of a group of fraudsters selling fake vaccination certificates, a growing problem the scale of which is still unclear.

The police said the fraudsters worked in encrypted Telegram chats, making investigations difficult, and were selling fake documents with all the stamps and signatures, including a mark about vaccination with BioNTech or AstraZeneca.

READ ALSO: Germany probes Covid-19 testing centres for fraud

The fraud involved both real traffic in fake documents as well as scams luring customers into paying €100.

People in Germany who are fully vaccinated can show their vaccination booklet, which has a stamp and a sticker inside. Those who don’t have a booklet get a piece of paper.

Covid health passes are currently being rolled out across the EU, with a European health passport expected to be available from mid-June.

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on how the EU’s ‘Covid passports’ will work for travellers?

Over 44% of the adult population in Germany has received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 18% of Germans have been fully vaccinated.

German police have said forged coronavirus vaccine documents are becoming an increasing problem.

Last month, a couple in Baden-Württemberg was accused of selling fake coronavirus vaccination certificates.

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