(Adds Siemens comment)
By Thomas Escritt and Toby Sterling
AMSTERDAM, April 7 Siemens said on
Friday that an employee had been arrested in the Netherlands in
a case which the country's financial crimes prosecutor said
involved suspected espionage for a Chinese competitor.
"I can confirm that a Siemens Netherlands employee was
arrested by police yesterday for questioning," Siemens spokesman
Leo Freriks said.
He said the investigation was directed "at the employee and
not Siemens as a company". He did not disclose which department
the employee worked for or whether it was known if secrets had
Headquartered in Germany, Siemens is a leading European
manufacturer involved in sectors including automation, building
technologies, drive technology, healthcare, mobility, energy and
The man, whom they identified as a 65-year-old living in the
province of Twente, is suspected of having leaked patent and
other company secrets, the Netherlands' national financial
crimes prosecutor said in a statement.
Investigators said the man was detained on a train station
platform as he was about to travel to China.
In addition to searching his baggage, they raided his home
and workplace, seizing several digital memory devices.
Corporate espionage cases rarely come to light in the
The best known is that of scientist Abul Qadeer Khan, widely
seen as the father of Pakistan's nuclear program, who worked at
Urenco's enrichment plant in Almelo, Twente, in the mid-1970s.
Khan helped design parts of Urenco's centrifuge technology
and had full access to its blueprints and its list of suppliers,
which he made use of when he abruptly returned to Pakistan in
Khan was sentenced for attempted espionage in a Dutch court
in 1983, but that verdict was overturned on a technicality on
(Editing by Larry King and Jason Neely)