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German prosecutors inspect Porsche offices in corruption probe

Prosecutors in Germany raided the offices of Porsche AG on suspicion that the carmaker's tax adviser bribed a government auditor to obtain confidential tax information, news agency Deutsche Welle reported May 28, citing the Stuttgart prosecutor's office.

In a statement sent to S&P Global Market Intelligence, Porsche confirmed that on May 28, investigating officers inspected and secured records in the offices of Porsche at sites in the Stuttgart area.

The company did not disclose further details about the inspection but said it is cooperating fully with the authorities in this matter.

According to the Deutsche Welle report, prosecutors raided private homes in Pforzheim and Karlsruhe in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, as well as an official tax bureau and a financial advisers' office in connection to the probe.

Out of about 180 officers involved in the raids, at least six people, including some in "leadership" positions, could reportedly be charged with breach of trust. It comes as authorities discovered that a former member of the Porsche workers' council received unusually high compensation for their work, the news outlet said.

In March, the luxury carmaker was ordered to pay about €10 million in taxes after German authorities found that the company paid too little tax on salaries paid to its semi-retired employees between 2009 and 2017.

Deutsche Welle said the raids were not linked to the Dieselgate scandal, in which Porsche's parent company Volkswagen AG was found to have cheated on emissions tests involving 11 million vehicles. The scandal has cost Porsche over €535 million, the report added.