New corruption allegations: US joins in on Airbus investigations
A new report U.S. lawmakers have opened an investigation into European aircraft manufacturer Airbus on suspicions of bribery. The probe follows British and French prosecutors, which have opened their investigations into Airbus corruption allegations back in 2017.
According to information obtained by the French newspaper Le Monde, reported on December 20, 2018, the European company is now facing several billion-dollar fines from the probes and, in worst case scenario, could be convicted of criminal activity.
“It is a known fact that Airbus is under investigation, and thus it is not able to comment on the ongoing procedures,” the statement from the airframer reads. However, Airbus claims it “cooperating” with the U.S. authorities [the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)], in close coordination with France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) of Great Britain.
The SFO had initiated a criminal investigation into Airbus on suspicion of corruption, fraud, and bribery back in August 2016.
In March 2017, the manufacturer confirmed that France’s financial prosecutors were also conducting an investigation.
Due to growing media pressure, at the time, Airbus’ position, as explained by Denis Ranque, chairman of the board of directors, was as follows:
“In 2014 Airbus management suspended outstanding payments to business partners and instigated a rigorous process for review of all payments prior to release. The payment review uncovered a number of compliance red flags, including misstatements and omissions to UK government agencies.
In concert with our values and standards of conduct and our legal responsibilities, the decision was made in 2016 to disclose the identified compliance issues and the surrounding circumstances to government financial oversight and investigation agencies”, a board of directors statement in October 2017 reads.
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