Straubing, Germany (dpa) – An employee of German lighting manufacturer Osram is accused of smuggling gold shavings weighing 67 kilograms out of his workplace over a period of several years.
The stolen property had a value of around 2.3 million euros at the time of the crime, said a spokesman for the Regensburg public prosecutor’s office.
According to the investigation, the incidents took place between 2012 and 2016. In 2018, Osram filed a complaint of theft.
A spokesman for the company declined to comment on Monday citing the ongoing investigation.
The now 41-year-old suspect initially showed himself to be cooperative during the investigation and confessed to the crimes, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The man seemed to have changed his mind and could no longer be reached, so an international arrest warrant was issued. He was finally arrested in his native Russia and has since been extradited to Germany.
The prosecutor’s spokesman did not say how exactly the suspect smuggled the gold shavings out of the workplace in the Bavarian city of the Regensburg, but he is thought to have worn them on his body in 360 separate incidents.
The Osram spokesman said the gold shaving are created during the production of LED chips. These are mainly needed for the automotive industry, for example for interior lighting in vehicles. The resulting gold shavings are usually recycled.