Germany probes Volkswagen staffer for 'destroying proof' of fraud

BERLIN, Germany – German authorities investigating the Volkswagen pollution cheating scandal have opened a probe into a VW employee suspected of having destroyed evidence of the fraud, the Agence France-Presse learned Thursday, June 9.

The investigation into the employee was "recently opened", Klaus Ziehe, a spokesman for prosecutors at the northern city of Brunswick, told AFP.

Investigators believe the suspect had asked colleagues to "get rid of data, which was partially carried out."

Some of the information could be recovered, prosecutors said, adding that the data lost was deemed not significant.

German prosecutors are seeking to find out the masterminds of the pollution fraud scandal at VW, after it emerged last September that the carmaker installed emissions-cheating software in 11 million diesel engines worldwide.

The still incalculable costs of the affair – including regulatory fines and legal costs in several countries – last year pushed VW into the red for the first time in more than 20 years. –