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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 - 15:48
Sri Lanka mentioned in Airbus Corruption Scandal
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A potentially vast corruption scandal threatens to overrun Airbus, with a Paris-based sales group suspected of having paid bribes around the world.

German CEO Tom Enders is leading the clean-up effort, but documents reveal that he might not be as spotless as he claims.

At issue are potential multibillion-euro fines and multibillion-euro losses.

Indeed, the very survival of Airbus, with its 134,000 employees and its annual turnover of 67 billion euros, could be at stake.

The money was allegedly paid in exchange for the procurement of orders.

Until recently, it had looked as though that network of shell companies only pertained to the sale of 18 Eurofighters to Austria, built by a consortium led by EADS.

State prosecutors based in Munich wrote in a supporting document from December 2016 that "significant sums of money" from the Vector kitty were "to be used for bribery payments to decision makers ... in Austria."

The bribes were to ensure that Vienna placed its warplane order with the Eurofighter consortium.

All of this adds up to a potential Siemens sequel for the German economy, one which has gone virtually unnoticed by the public at large.

A new global bribery scandal, similar to the earthquake of corruption that rocked the Munich-based industrial giant in 2006, and continued for years afterward.

In Britain and France, anti-corruption agencies are currently investigating Airbus, while Munich-based public prosecutors are doing the same in Germany together with their counterparts in Vienna.

Airbus has submitted a voluntary disclosure in the UK. And suspicious cases have begun popping up around the world, including in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, China, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, and Mali.

Internal investigators have discovered the possible payment of well over 100 bribes. And that is just the beginning. "The dimensions of the affair aren't yet clear, but it is certainly vast," says one insider.

(Spiegel ONLINE)

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