Ex-Audi Manager Arrested in Munich Diesel-Emission Probe

  • Munich prosecutors targeting group of managers as suspects
  • The arrest was unrelated to U.S. charges, prosecutors say

Munich prosecutors arrested a former manager at Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit as part of their criminal probe in the diesel emissions scandal as they said they were targeting individual suspects for the first time in the investigation.

The man was arrested on Monday, Andrea Grape, spokeswoman for Munich prosecutors said by telephone. She declined to identify him or any other suspects or to say how many are being probed. None of the suspects are members of the management board, she said.

The news comes a day after a former Audi manager, Giovanni Pamio, was charged with fraud by the U.S. for his alleged role in helping Volkswagen cheat U.S. emissions standards. Pamio, 60, conspired to defraud U.S. regulators and consumers through software designed to falsify results in thousands of Audi vehicles marketed as "clean diesel," the Justice Department said Thursday.

Audi declined to comment. The manager wasn’t arrested on the request of U.S. authorities, said Grape.

Munich prosecutors started to look into Audi’s role in 2015 shortly after VW admitted it used software to circumvent emissions standards in the U.S. For one and a half years, the probe was directed against unnamed people. The fact that Munich prosecutors have now identified suspects indicates that the probe has uncovered evidence.

— With assistance by Christoph Rauwald

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