A BMW employee and a member of staff at a parts supplier have been arrested for stealing car parts worth around $4 million from the company’s Munich plant.
Internal auditors found the production mismatching and delivered this information to the police.
Fake requisitions were made to obtain the parts required to fund their side business - selling BMW bits online. The parts ordered were removed from the industrial process – supposedly for quality control purposes. With one of the band members a long-serving quality control worker at BMW’s Munich plant, these unsystematic "quality" checks at first called no suspicion.
Gottfried Schlicht - Munich police speaker - confirmed the two arrests but a much larger band is suspected to involve.
BMW representative Michael Rebstock said it was an extraordinary state of affairs. "...but with 31 000 workers in the Munich area, there can sometimes be a black sheep".
Regardless of the first arrests, the police investigation is continuing, with authorities suspecting a group of 18 is involved.
Despite removing and reselling everything from wheel covers to trim and gear shifters, the most profitable items were BMW’s original-equipment seats. The gang’s illegal income was supposedly hidden in a series of foreign bank accounts but most of the money deposited in Turkey.