BERLIN, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Company cars from the vehicle fleet (BwFuhrpark) of the German Armed Forces have extensively been used privately by a circle of senior employees, German media reported on Wednesday.
German media reported that the managers thus unduly received tax advantages worth around 900,000 euros (1,014,322 U.S. dollars) through unpaid taxes, the surcharges unduly received and low mileage allowances.
The private use of company cars had been prohibited at the vehicle fleet service of the German military, but the employees started using a car sharing model in 2005, the German Ministry of Defense informed parliamentary party representatives in Berlin, according to the German press agency (dpa).
Although the managers of BwFuhrpark had received compensation payments for no longer being allowed to use the cars privately, 42 executives continued to have private access to the company cars.
The German magazine Spiegel reported that the current management of the service provider BwFuhrpark had even reported to the tax authorities for false or incomplete tax declaration.
An internal letter described a situation in which the executives had "access to vehicles exclusively used and partly configured by them", according to Spiegel.
The Ministry of Defense, which holds 75.1 percent of Bundeswehr Fuhrpark Service GmbH, announced that it would hand the case over to the public prosecutor's office.
The ministry stressed that the current management had "consistently" clarified the process surrounding company cars. Now they wanted to check whether former managing directors could be made liable for the practice.
Following a long list of issues and problems surrounding the German army, Green party defense politician Tobias Lindner criticized the responsible ministry. "Obviously Ursula von der Leyen (minister of defense) has no overview what is going on in the German Armed Forces GmbHs".