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German prosecutors raid Porsche in corruption probe

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German prosecutors raid Porsche in corruption probe
Porsche cars for sale in Bremen. Photo: DPA
13:52 CEST+02:00
Prosecutors in Stuttgart said they raided German sports car maker and Volkswagen subsidiary Porsche on Tuesday on suspicion that an auditor was bribed to pass information to the company's tax advisor.

The investigators suspect that "an official from the Stuttgart business audit office revealed confidential information to a tax advisor of Porsche AG and accepted benefits in exchange," they said in a statement.

Almost 200 police and prosecutors searched the luxury car maker's offices, tax collectors' offices, a tax advisor's office and private homes in and around Stuttgart for paper and digital documents.

On top of the bribery probe, investigators suspect the company made "unjustified" and "disproportionately large" payments to a former works council member.

Six people, including some from the company leadership, "may have committed fraud against Porsche AG" they said.

Porsche confirmed to AFP that the searches had taken place, adding that the carmaker "is cooperating fully with the authorities."

On top of the bribery probe, investigators suspect the company made
"unjustified" and "disproportionately large" payments to a former works
council member.

They "may have committed fraud against Porsche AG," said prosecutors.

The former works council member was not one of the people under suspicion, prosecutors said.

Earlier this month, Porsche agreed to pay a fine of 535 million over its role in the separate "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal.

Its parent company Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million vehicles worldwide to appear less polluting in the lab than on the road.

SEE ALSO: Luxury carmaker Porsche fined 535 million over diesel cheating scandal

 
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