Labour leader charged VW for beach trip: report
25 August 2005, WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - The leader of organized labour at Volkswagen charged the German carmaker with expenses of EUR 165,000 for a trip to the beach in India at the start of 2004, the newspaper Wolfsburger Nachrichten said Thursday.
25 August 2005
WOLFSBURG, GERMANY - The leader of organized labour at Volkswagen charged the German carmaker with expenses of EUR 165,000 for a trip to the beach in India at the start of 2004, the newspaper Wolfsburger Nachrichten said Thursday.
Klaus Volkert, 62, who has resigned as chairman of the company's works council, was the third man in a corruption scandal. German prosecutors are probing how two disgraced Volkswagen executives set up international firms, allegedly to funnel kickbacks to themselves.
Under German labour-relations laws, a works council can charge its operating expenses to an employer.
Prosecutors said earlier they were inquiring into whether there was any valid legal reason for Volkert to charge the company for his trip to India, but the investigators had not publicized the amount involved. He is suspected of fraud.
The newspaper said Volkert and the two former executives at the focus of the inquiry, Skoda director of personnel Helmuth Schuster and Volkswagen personnel executive Klaus-Joachim Gebauer, had spent five days on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.
There is no auto industry on the remote Indian territory.
The newspaper said evidence was emerging that the men may have staged another trip to India, in January 2003 to the holiday paradise of Goa.
Prosecutors suspect Schuster and Gebauer set up 10 firms in eight nations including India to do business with Volkswagen, using their connections inside the multinational to steer contracts to the front companies.
They allegedly obtained a huge 'fee' from a state government in India to act as facilitators in establishing a car factory.
A separate prong of the inquiry is directed at alleged corruption of labour leaders such as Volkert to make them more amenable to company demands.
Subject: German news