A former Tesla employee has made some a serious accusations against Tesla, claimint that the automaker silenced investigations into theft and drug trafficking at its Nevada Gigafactory.
Karl Hansen, an ex-member of Tesla’s internal security department and investigations division, asserts that Tesla was informed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Storey County Sheriff’s Office Task Force that an employee was dealing drugs at the Gigafactory. This info was not disclosed to shareholders.
Hansen says that the DEA informed him that “a Tesla employee may be a participant in a narcotics trafficking ring involving the sale of significant quantities of cocaine and possibly crystal methamphetamine at the Gigafactory on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel from Sonora Mexico.”
Not only does Hansen allege that Tesla took no action on the matter, he claims to have discovered that $37 million of copper and raw materials were stolen from the Gigafactory between January and June. Hansen says he was “instructed not to report the thefts to outside law enforcement” and was directed to stop investigating the issue.
Tesla has denied all claims
Hansen’s whistleblower complaint also alleges that Tesla illegally spied on Martin Tripp, a former Tesla process technician who also issued a whistleblower complaint a couple of months ago.
According to Hansen, Tesla installed “specialized router equipment within its Nevada Gigafactory designed to capture employee cell phone communications and/or cell phone data.” The complaint says these measures were enforced by Elon Musk personally.
As if that wasn’t enough, Hansen goes on to state that the Tesla security team who spied on Tripp were ex-employees of Uber who were accused of wiretapping competitors and pilfering trade secrets from Waymo.
In a statement issued to Gizmodo, Elon Musk denied all the claims.
“He is simultaneously saying that our security sucks (it’s not great, but I’m pretty sure we aren’t a branch of the Sinaloa cartel like he claims) and that we have amazing spying ability. Those can’t both be true.”
In a statement, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro said his office “cannot confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation of drug activity that is connected to the Gigafactory.”
The DEA says it won’t disclose the existence of an ongoing or pending investigation to a third party.