×

UPDATE 1-EU anti-fraud office send VW probe findings to German prosecutors

(Adds statement from EIB)

BRUSSELS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The European anti-fraud office investigating whether Volkswagen used EU funds and European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to develop devices that cheated emission tests has sent its judicial recommendations to German prosecutors.

VW was plunged into the biggest business crisis in its 80-year history when the cheating scandal was exposed in September 2015. It has cost the company more than $25 billion in fines, compensation and vehicle refits.

European anti-fraud office OLAF said it had investigated whether there was any link between funds VW received and the production of engines or devices that could be used to manipulate emission tests.

Volkswagen has denied misusing the funds and said they were used for their designated purpose.

"OLAF sent its final report and a judicial recommendation to the German national authorities, namely the public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig, Germany, as well as an administrative recommendation to the European Investment Bank," OLAF said.

It added it had recommended the EIB review the implementation of its anti-fraud policies.

The bank said it would study OLAF's findings and decide on how to proceed. It added it was also reviewing its relationship with VW and was not considering any new loans to the company for the time being.

"We cannot exclude that one loan of 400 million euros ($472.6 million) ('Volkswagen Antrieb RDI') was linked to emissions control technologies developed at the time the defeat software was designed and used," the EIB's President Werner Hoyer said in a statement.

In May 2016 it announced that VW had repaid two 975-million-euro loans ahead of schedule.

($1 = 0.8465 euros) ($1 = 0.8465 euros) (Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)