BERLIN, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Several employees of German chemicals firm BASF are being investigated for potentially defrauding their own company of a figure in the millions of euros, the Kaiserslautern state prosecution office confirmed on Monday.
"The purported damage which has been caused to BASF is in the millions," a statement by the office read.
According to the prosecutors, an internal BASF investigation in 2017 had first led to suspicions that four employees were cooperating with five external firms in creating false invoices over the course of several years.
Additionally, the state prosecution office is examining whether aspects of the dubious commercial activity also constituted the offense of bribery under German law.
The alleged fraud occurred at BASF's global headquarters in Ludwigshafen. One of the suspects has passed away in the meanwhile, meaning that only three employees are currently under investigation.
Security authorities have searched the apartments and offices of several individuals involved in the alleged fraud to obtain further evidence. The state prosecution office was "currently unwilling to comment" on whether any of the suspects had already responded to the criminal charges.
BASF is the world's largest chemicals firm by revenue, employing around 112,000 staff in more than 80 countries and regions.