Israeli Secret Service Involved In Volkswagen Diesel Scandal

Yuval Diskin, the former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, played an important role in the Volkswagen diesel scandal, according to a report in WirtschaftsWoche.

Together with Avi Primor, the former Israeli ambassador to Germany, Mr. Diskin met Ferdinand Piëch in February 2015 for a confidential interview with Volkswagen’s then-chairman of the supervisory board. Mr. Diskin, who left the secret service in 2011 and then founded cyber security company Diskin Advanced Technologies, wanted to sell security services to Volkswagen.

Mr. Primor confirmed the meeting in an interview with WirtschaftsWoche: “I’m friends with Yuval Diskin and I did him a favor,” he said, adding that together they had meetings with “various German companies including Volkswagen.”

The diplomat denied being involved in anything business-related and emphasized he “only made contacts” for Mr. Diskin.

According to earlier media reports, Mr. Primor informed Mr. Piëch about an impending emissions scandal about to affect the German carmaker in the United States.

The classified information used by Mr. Primor came from an “Israeli security company,” according to German tabloid Bild.

The former ambassador declined to confirm whether this company was Diskin Advanced Technologies. “I have nothing to say about the VW scandal. Nothing at all,” he said.

The meeting with Mr. Piëch paid off for Mr. Diskin: In 2016, the Wolfsburg-based auto maker founded Cymotive Technologies, a security company headquartered in Herzliya, Israel, together with Mr. Diskin. The company aims to close gaps in the safety systems of networked cars.

Volkswagen’s subsidiary AutoVision owns 40 percent of Cymotive and the rest is owned by Mr. Diskin and two other former intelligence agents.

German intelligence experts assume that Mr. Primor’s information on the impending outbreak of the Dieselgate was passed on from U.S. services to Israeli services.

“The Israeli intelligence services have long been working very closely and amicably with their counterparts in the U.S.,” sources at the Federal Intelligence Agency said.

1 reply
  1. Joe Levin
    Joe Levin says:

    The German newspaper Der Spiegel claimed on Thursday that an ex-Shin Bet chief and Israeli diplomat are tied to a recent scandal involving Germany’s largest automaker.

    According to the reports, former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin and former Israeli ambassador Avi Primor are both involved in the Volkswagen pollution scandal, in which the company used software to trick pollution tests. Documents obtained by Der Spiegel show that European officials knew about the deception for years, but didn’t act on it. According to US authorities, the two Israelis had prior information on the affair.

    The former head of Israel secret service Diskin and former Israeli ambassador Primor met in 2015 with Ferdinand Piëch, an Austrian businessman who led the automobile empire for decades as chief executive and later was chairman of Volkswagen’s advisory committee. Diskin, who retired from the GSS in 2011, met with Piëch as a representative of a cyber technology company seeking to sell security services to German auto manufacturers.

    Primor confirmed the details of the meeting in an interview with the German newspaper, saying: “I am a friend of Diskin. I did him a favor. We were together in other German companies. I am only responsible for making connections. I was not involved in transactions. I’m not saying anything about the Volkswagen scandal”.

    Despite Primor’s denials, it seems that the talks with VW helped, and in 2016 an Israeli compant was established for advanced technology security services in which according to the Bild, Volkswagen holds 40 percent of shares. Diskin is the owner of the company along with Tzafrir Katz, former Shin Bet technology division head, and Tamir Bechor, the organization’s former head of information and computing.

    In response to an inquiry by Maariv Online, a Diskin spokesman said: “Yuval Diskin has no connection in even the smallest way to the Dieselgate affair. Yuval Diskin and his colleagues first learned about the case only when it was reported in the media. The report is misleading and has no basis in reality.”

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