It seems like everything is not what it seems at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada.
It’s the manufacturing plant where Tesla puts together its Model 3 car, along with producing several other battery offerings, but recent claims from a whistleblower suggest that there are quite a few unsavoury activities happening in the Nevada desert as well.
Among the claims, the whistleblower says that an estimated $37 million in precious metals and equipment were stolen from the facility, along with several employees being involved in a drug trafficking ring. Added to this is the assertion that founder Elon Musk ordered the hacking of employee smartphones in order to track their activities.
While there is no official confirmation of the theft or device hacking, the whistleblower, Karl Hansen, says he was privy to an investigation in which one of the Gigafactory employees was believed to have ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
Hansen adds that he made his supervisors aware of the drug trafficking situation, but Tesla opted to ignore the matter and said that they would hire “outside vendors” to investigate it further.
Since the Tesla Gigafactory claims have been made, Musk has released an official statement on the issue via TechCrunch.
According to Mr. Hansen, following Tripp’s departure from Tesla, Tesla went so far as to install specialized router equipment within its Nevada Gigafactory designed to capture employee cell phone communications and/or retrieve employee cell phone data. The Meissner firm recently released police reports relating to this past June’s GigaGate incident indicating that Tesla security personnel may have unlawfully accessed Mr. Tripp’s cell phone long after he was fired by Tesla. Mr. Hansen states that he was told these tactics were specifically authorized by CEO Elon Musk and were implemented by members of Tesla’s internal investigations/security/IT units.
With the situation still ongoing, it remains unclear how much these whistleblowers claims will affect Tesla and the operations at its Gigafactory.
Nevertheless it’s been a hectic few weeks for Tesla, with Musk trying to take the company private, and now the company potentially embroiled in a drug trafficking scandal.