Rupert Stadler, the CEO of automaker Audi, was arrested in Germany

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The order came from a judge in Germany who has directed authorities to keep Stadler in custody so that he cannot obstruct or hinder the ongoing investigation into Volkswagen Group. Munich prosecutors said last week they had searched Stadler’s home for evidence as part of an investigation that has been underway for over a year. “There were clear signs that there was to be an effort to influence people and other suspects. Therefore we issued an immediate arrest warrant,” Stephan Necknig, a spokesman for the Munich prosecutor’s office, told media.

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Diesel cars from Volkswagen and its Audi subsidiary cheated on clean air rules with software that made emissions look less toxic than they actually were. Stadler has been under fire since Audi admitted in November 2015, two months after parent VW, that it also installed illegal “defeat device” software to cheat. Audi and VW said Stadler was presumed innocent unless proved otherwise.  Martin Winterkorn, the former chief executive officer of Volkswagen, was indicted last month by US prosecutors being charged with wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud American customers. He is unlikely to face U.S. authorities because Germany does not extradite its nationals to countries outside the European Union. VW shares were down 3 percent at 156.08 euros, Monday, one of the biggest falls by a European blue-chip stock.

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