Porsche offices raided in tax probe

Porsche offices, government offices and private residences have been searched in two separate investigations relating to bribery and fraud.
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Around 180 police, tax officials and state prosecutors have raided offices across Germany as part of investigations centred around Porsche.

In a statement to the media, including Agence France Presse, prosecutors said they believe "an official from the Stuttgart business audit office revealed confidential information to a tax advisor of Porsche AG and accepted benefits in exchange".

Prosecutors also said a separate probe is underway for "unjustified" and “disproportionately large” payments made to a Porsche works council member.

The authorities stated six Porsche employees, including a few in "leadership positions", are being investigated and could be charged for breach of trust.

In German corporations, a works council is elected by the company’s workforce. It not only represents the company’s workers, but also has a prescribed number of seats on the company's board.

Locations raided overnight include Porsche's offices in Weissach and Stuttgart, as well as private homes, and the offices of both tax auditor and Porsche's tax advisor.

Porsche says it is "co-operating fully with the authorities".

The company's latest problems are unrelated to the Dieselgate scandal, which engulfed much of the Volkswagen Group, and saw the luxury car maker accept a fine of €535 million ($865 million) to German authorities earlier this month.