Police in Munich have put a stop to a ring of thieves that included BMW employees who were stealing car parts from the factory and selling them on the black market.
Authorities say that the gang stole over €3 million in BMW car parts before they were caught. BMW officials were the first to begin investigating the matter before handing it over to the local police.
Investigators say that a BMW employee in the quality control department would label parts, in particular car seats, as defective and then smuggle them out of the plant to be sold, sometimes in Internet auctions. Police say that some small garages and private customers were also in on the scam.
The ring grew to be quite sophisticated, with a series of foreign bank accounts to launder their proceeds. Last week, police conducted raids in the Munich area as part of the investigation and seized BMW car badges, spare parts and car seats.
BMW said that the thieves' ring was a small number of "bad apples" and that the vast majority of its 31,000 workforce in the Munich area are honest employees.