Into the VW Factory
“We crawled through a cable shaft into the VW factory”
How the agent from the Hunsrück infiltrated a gang of forgers and, in the process, foiled a possible attack on the Volkswagen factory
District. The life of an agent is a mix of secret missions and mortal danger. According to his own statistics, Werner Mauss, Germany’s best-known secret agent, has been responsible for bringing over 1500 dangerous criminals to justice. In 1973, secret agent Werner Mauss was asked by the state criminal investigation department (LKA) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz) to infiltrate a criminal organisation.
Background: A criminal gang had succeeded in making a copy of the master key to the Volkswagen factory complex in Wolfsburg.
The counterfeit key had been made by the gang on order for terrorists of the Red Army Faction (RAF). The Verfassungsschutz had found out at the time that the RAF was planning a bomb attack on VW’s central computer system. The Verfassungsschutz and the LKA Lower Saxony then assigned super agent Werner Mauss to the task of infiltrating the criminal organisation in accordance with section 129 STGB of the German criminal code. Mauss, who is now 58, knew how to get in contact with the gang of counterfeiters using a cover story and an alias. His first sight of the forgers’ workshop in the city of Brunswick flabbergasted the man from Hunsrück. “They had a professional workshop with a shooting range and along with forged identity cards were turning out weapons complete with silencers.” At that time the gangsters were working with accomplices inside the VW works who had enabled them to obtain the measurements of the master key in order to make the copy. After some discussion Mauss was able to persuade the gangsters to demonstrate their key. Mauss entered the VW factory at night in company of the gangsters, with the copied key opening “literally opening all doors”.
“We even gained access to the office of the general director via the doors in the cable shaft.” When it became clear to Mauss that the key worked and that the gang were very dangerous he “blew the whistle” on the forgers. “At the same time, through a police operation in cooperation with a special prosecutor, more than 20 dangerous criminals were arrested and the counterfeit key seized.” Subsequent searches and interrogations revealed that numerous other crimes (weapons offences, production of counterfeit money and many break-ins) were also the work of the forgers.
The case had been successfully solved: a triumph for the secret agent from the Hunsrück, Werner Mauss. The details of how he managed to make contact with the gang are something the 58-year-old prefers not to reveal. “A good cook does not give away his recipes”, he says with a smile. VW bosses in Wolfsburg were relieved by the arrests, because an attack on the central computer system of the kind planned by the terrorists could have brought the group’s car production worldwide to a standstill.
The Federal Criminal Police Office kept quiet about secret agent Werner Mauss’s role in the operation. Volkswagen did not find out at that time who it was who had set up the contact with the forgers. That Institution “M”, as Mauss was known in the Federal Criminal Police Office, had been on the job was something that only became public knowledge years later.
By courtesy of the Wochenspiegel SW publishers www.wochenspiegellive.de