$2.5m Holden engine scam likely an inside job; 7 arrested

A Holden factory worker and six other people have been charged with stealing millions of dollars worth of auto parts from the manufacturer’s Elizabeth plant.

The thieves are accused of stealing and intending to sell $2.5 million worth of transmissions, engines, and other parts from Holden, in what police say could be an inside job.

Holden reportedly uncovered the crime ring when they conducted an audit of its V8 engine parts, which revealed 140 V8 engines (6 litre and 6.2 litre), along with 175 heavy-duty transmissions were missing.

The V8 motors were destined for use in Holden’s latest VE Commodores, assembled in South Australia alongside the Cruze.

The seven people arrested include an employee of Holden’s Elizabeth, South Australia assembly plant, along with a man from Queensland and a woman from Riverland.

South Australia detectives have referred to the group as a high-level and criminal network, operating from inside the Holden plant, and have not ruled out the possibility of further arrests related to the crime.

The seven people arrested are facing money laundering and theft charges, and have been bailed to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on Wednesday 22 August 2012.

Holden says though its inventory tracking and audit systems are “robust and in-line with global standards,” the car manufacturer should tighten up security.

“GM Holden's internal investigation has already identified certain areas in which we can further tighten both inventory controls and security measures,” reads a company notice.

“GM Holden will continue its internal investigation and collaborate with police on this matter. All necessary steps will be taken to protect GM Holden from criminal activity.”

[Image: Eastern Riverina Chronicle]