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Audi CEO arrested: Volkswagen

Audi A8

It may be noted that this probably the biggest arrest in the Dieselgate scandal that shook the operations of German auto manufacturing company Volkswagen post-2015.

The arrest comes one week after Germany imposed a €1 billion ($1.2 billion) penalty on Audi's parent company, Volkswagen, for rigging diesel engine emissions worldwide.

Munich prosecutors, who widened their probe into Audi earlier this month, said Stadler was being held due to fears he might hinder their investigation into the scandal, plunging VW into a leadership crisis.

"We confirm that Rupert Stadler was taken into custody pending trial this morning at the request of the Munich II Public Prosecutor's Office", an Audi spokesman tells NPR.

The heightened scrutiny on emissions revealed that other companies also sold cars that polluted far more during regular driving than during testing, although not necessarily using the same illegal methods that Volkswagen did.

Munich prosecutors said in a statement that Stadler was detained out of concern that he would suppress evidence needed for their investigation.

German carmaker Audi's CEO, Rupert Stadler, has been arrested.

Audi CEO detained in diesel emissions case
Audi CEO arrested: Volkswagen

Audi AG CEO Rupert Stadler leaves the stage after his speech during the annual press conference in Ingolstadt, southern Germany a year ago.

Volkswagen has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the United States.

Volkswagen first admitted in 2015 it had rigged millions of diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests.

And The Associated Press reports that Stadler, who has spent almost 30 years working for Audi, is under investigation for "fraud and indirect improprieties with documents".

The Munich prosecutors said Stadler's arrest was not made at the behest of USA authorities. He was named a suspect by the Munich prosecutor's office alongside an unnamed member of Audi's board of management.

But investigations are continuing elsewhere.

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