S Korea arrests VW boss over Dieselgate
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Seoul, South Korea - A South Korean court has issued the first warrant for the arrest of a Volkswagen executive in connection with its cheating of vehicle emissions tests, in another blow to the German automaker's efforts to move on from the scandal.
The warrant is the first to be levelled against a Volkswagen executive anywhere in the world after the firm admitted in September 2015 to using software to falsify pollution tests on some diesel cars, spurring legal action in the United States, Germany, South Korea and elsewhere.
An official at the prosecution office, declining to be named because the investigation was ongoing, said: “This is just the beginning of the investigation.”
Seoul Central District Court spokesman Shin Jae-hwan said the executive at Volkswagen's South Korean subsidiary faced five accusations including fabrication of documents and violation of the Air Quality Preservation Law, .
“The court acknowledges the reason and the necessity of the arrest,” he said, declining to give further details or name the executive.
A Volkswagen Korea spokeswoman declined to comment.
The developing criminal case in South Korea, Asia’s second biggest diesel car market after India, is another setback for Europe's biggest carmaker as it faces global repercussions and potentially billions of dollars of costs over the scandal.
Sources in the United States said on Thursday Volkswagen would pay more than $10 billion (R156 billion) to settle claims by nearly 500 000 owners and fund efforts to offset pollution.
German prosecutors said on Monday they were investigating former CEO Martin Winterkorn and another executive over whether they effectively manipulated markets by delaying the release of information about the emissions test cheating.
Volkswagen said in April it would set aside €16.2 billion (R277 billion) and slash its dividend to cover the costs from the scandal.Reuters
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