Wolfsburg (dpa) - In the eavesdropping affair about recorded conversations by a VW internal working group, the alleged mole at Volkswagen has been exposed. An employee of the group was released on Friday, according to the news agency dpa-AFX.

The online business magazine “Business Insider” had previously reported on this.

A VW spokesman did not want to comment on the information on request. As long as public prosecutor's investigations continued, the group did not comment on the matter, said Volkswagen brand finance chief Alexander Seitz on Friday. The company had filed a criminal complaint against unknown after the process was initially investigated internally.

Last weekend it became known that a stranger had systematically recorded conversations of a working group in 2017 and 2018. The working groups focused on how to deal with the unpleasant supplier group Prevent, with which VW has been in a clinch for years. Before VW terminated all contracts with Prevent in March 2018, the company apparently consulted for a long time after several delivery stops whether and how Prevent should be phased out as a supplier, as the industry jargon states. Business Insider spoke of around 50 hours of audio material from at least 35 recordings.

"Volkswagen was the victim of an illegal eavesdropping attack," the company said. According to the company, the recordings are not available to the company. A spokesman for the group had said that Prevent had no knowledge of the recordings, and it was even less likely that they were involved in their creation. The supplier group of the Bosnian Hastor family also saw themselves injured and had announced that they would consider legal proceedings against VW.

It was initially unclear who the spy was and whether he was acting on behalf of someone else. «Now that it has been shown that the core team, which dealt with the possibilities of ending the business relationship with the Prevent Group, had been illegally bugged, we naturally ask ourselves who is responsible for the content of the core team and its possible plans have an interest and would resort to such means, »said a VW spokesman on the occasion of the criminal complaint on Wednesday.

There have been no supply relationships between VW and Prevent since spring 2018. However, the companies are still in court. According to Prevent, more than ten cases are pending before German courts alone. Prevent has also filed a lawsuit against VW in the United States. The majority of VW's previous judicial decisions regarding the disputes are confirmed.

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