German government examines Deutsche Bahn for fraud allegations

The German government will examine Deutsche Bahn’s management over fraud allegations by two whistleblowers related to the construction of a new 8.2 billion euro station in Stuttgart.

State-owned railway operator in 2016 received repeated warnings The Financial Times reported last week that cost inflation at Germany’s largest infrastructure project was caused by mismanagement and suspicion of corruption.

The transport ministry in Berlin told the FT on Monday that the federal government is “actively working to heighten and severely challenge the reported facts”.

Deutsche Bahn declined to comment on the Department of Transport’s statement. Last week, company promised “Maximum transparency” and told the FT it would disclose the results of its internal probe to “authorized parties”. The €40 billion company stressed that it had investigated “all available allegations in this matter thoroughly based on internal standards and the law” and found no violations. any law.

One of the whistleblowers, a Deutsche Bahn veteran with more than two decades of experience in allocating costs to large investment projects, in 2016 estimated financial losses from alleged misconduct. is 600 million euros, according to a document released by the FT.

The second whistleblower was fired just weeks after his last meeting with investigators took place in November 2016, documents shown by the FT. Deutsche Bahn said the dismissal was unrelated to the whistleblower’s complaint – a position that was upheld by the Stuttgart court in July.

Criminal prosecutors in Stuttgart told the FT last week that they were not previously aware of the whistleblower’s complaints and were reviewing the matter.

Winfried Hermann, Baden-Württemberg’s Green Transport Minister last week criticized Deutsche Bahn for failing to brief the state about the whistleblower’s allegations and its investigation.

“The state is providing a significant source of capital [for the Stuttgart station] and be entitled to comprehensive information,” said Mr Hermann, adding that his ministry would formally ask the railway operator for an explanation.

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