An employee of the Osram company in Regensburg is said to have smuggled gold shavings out of the production rooms for years - a total of around 67 kilograms.

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.

According to the investigation, the cases should have taken place between 2012 and 2016.

In 2018 Osram filed a complaint of theft.

A spokesman for the company did not want to comment on Monday with reference to the ongoing proceedings.

First, the "Mittelbayerische Zeitung" reported on the case.

Suddenly, after confession, he fled

The now 41-year-old suspect showed himself to be cooperative during the investigation and also made a confession, said the prosecutor's spokesman.

The authority had already brought charges last year.

After that, however, the man must have changed his mind, the spokesman said.

In any case, the suspect could no longer be reached.

The investigators had him searched for by means of an international arrest warrant.

He was finally arrested in his native Russia and has since been extradited to Germany.

Now the indictment is up for examination by the regional court.

There the proceedings had been temporarily suspended due to the man's unavailability, as a spokesman said.

Until the arrest in March 2021 and extradition.

The charges - one for theft and one for violating the Narcotics Act - would now be served on the accused so that he could comment.

The court then decides whether there will be a trial.

The public prosecutor's spokesman did not say how exactly the suspect smuggled the gold shavings.

In any case, the man is said to have worn them on his body.

It is about 360 individual acts, some of which, however, are already statute-barred.

In the indictment, the man is now charged with 222 thefts.

The man is said to have bought marijuana from the gold - in exchange.

According to the investigation, he exchanged one kilogram of gold for one kilogram of marijuana - the value of the gold being many times higher than that of the drugs.

The spokesman for the Osram company explained that the gold chips arise during the production of LED chips.

These are mainly needed for the automotive industry, for example for interior lighting in vehicles.

The resulting gold chips would be recycled.