Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel scandal

German prosecutors searched Stadler's private residence last week in their investigation of suspected fraud

German authorities arrested the head of Volkswagen's luxury arm Audi on Monday, the most senior company official so far to be detained over the carmaker's emissions test cheating scandal. "We will comment on this later". Munich prosecutors announced last week Stadler, Audi's CEO since 2007, and an unidentified board member were being investigated.

Rupert Stadler was arrested as part of a German investigation into claims that Audi has cheated on diesel emissions tests.

According to Bloomberg, German authorities have arrested the 55-year-old in Munich in connection with the scandal that first hit headlines in September 2015.

"The arrest warrant is based on concealment of evidence", the office said, noting the possibility that Stadler could'e tampered with evidence in the far-reaching investigation.

Cars sold in Europe by Volkswagen group were believed to be equipped with a software that automatically turned off emissions controls during driving, flouting several pollution control laws.

Last month, USA prosecutors charged Winterkorn, 70, with conspiracy and wire fraud in relation to the diesel emissions case.

Audi's parent, the Volkswagen Group, confirmed that Stadler was detained this morning but that the "hearing to determine whether he will be remanded is ongoing".

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Stadler's arrest marks yet another harsh reminder for VW and Audi that they have not escaped the damaging cloud of the emissions scandal.

Both Audi and Volkswagen Group, which owns the luxury auto brand, are yet to issue a statement.

Rupert Stadler, chief executive of Volkswagen's Audi unit, speaks last July in Barcelona.

He has been indicted by USA authorities but is unlikely to face the charges as Germany doesn't extradite nationals to the US.

Prosecutors in the Bavarian state said the arrest was justified because of the "risk of concealment of evidence".

The devices were initially found in VW's cars, but its Audi subsidiary has also been embroiled in the scandal.

The diesel investigation, conducted by prosecutors in Munich and Braunschweig and coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice, has shifted to Audi and Porsche in the last two years.

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