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BMW stung in R30m parts scam

2010-11-30 07:56

RED FACES AT ROUNDEL HQ: Thanks to internal theft of R30m, there should be a slew of cheap genuine BMW parts for sale on the internet.

A BMW worker and an employee at a parts supplier have been arrested for stealing car parts worth R30-million from the company’s Munich plant.

Internal auditors uncovered the production discrepancies and handed the information to police.

Munich police spokesperson Gottfried Schlicht confirmed the two arrests but a much larger gang is suspected of involvement.

BMW spokesperson Michael Rebstock said it was an unusual state of affairs. "...but with 31 000 workers in the Munich area, there can sometimes be a black sheep".

Despite the initial arrests, the police investigation is ongoing, with authorities suspecting a gang of 18 is involved.


Fake requisitions were made to obtain the parts required to fund their sideline business selling BMW bits online. The parts ordered were removed from the industrial process – ostensibly for quality control purposes.

With one of the gang members a long-serving quality control staffer at BMW’s Munich plant, these haphazard "quality" checks at first aroused no suspicion.

Despite removing and reselling everything from wheel covers to trim and gear shifters, the most lucrative items were BMW’s original-equipment seats.

The gang’s illegal income was allegedly hidden in a series of foreign bank accounts but most of the money deposited in Turkey.

Inside Wheels24

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