Siemens board member arrested in investigation of payments to union official

A board member of Siemens AG was arrested Tuesday in connection with an investigation of alleged payments to the head of a tiny labor union, the company said.

Siemens said Johannes Feldmayer was arrested as part of an investigation into payments from the company to the head of the AUB labor organization, Wilhelm Schelsky.

A spokeswoman for Munich-based Siemens said Feldmayer was arrested after investigators raided offices in Munich, Erlangen and Nuremberg.

"We don't know the exact reason but it does relate to the AUB affair," Konstanze Tauber told The Associated Press. "Siemens is cooperating fully with the investigators ... and will continue to do so."

Neither Feldmayer nor his attorney could immediately be reached for comment.

Last month, Schelsky was arrested in connection with searches at Siemens and AUB.

Siemens has said that Schelsky - a former works council member at the company - had acted as an adviser to Siemens on employee training and other issues, but that his contract with the company had been canceled at the end of 2006.

According to Siemens, Schelsky had received payments totaling EUR14 million (US$18.6 million) from the company since 2001, reports AP.

Siemens has been plagued recently by separate corruption allegations, prompting Chief Executive Klaus Kleinfeld to hire an outside anti-corruption expert and a law firm to examine and revise the company's safeguards.

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