A top Ghanaian official was among many officials from four different countries that Airbus bribed between 2009 and 2015 in exchange for contracts, which has led to a court in Britain slapping a fine of £3 billion on the company.
A UK court document said: “The fifth count alleges that contrary to section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, between 1 July 2011 and 1 June 2015, Airbus SE failed to prevent persons associated with Airbus SE from bribing others concerned with the purchase of military transport aircraft by the government of Ghana, where the said bribery was intended to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business for Airbus SE. 53.
“Between 2009 and 2015, an Airbus defence company engaged Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high-ranking elected Ghanaian government official (Government Official 1) as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the government of Ghana.
A number of Airbus employees knew that Intermediary 5 was a close relative of Government Official 1, who was a key decision-maker in respect of the proposed sales. A number of Airbus employees made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5.
“False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments. The payments were intended to induce or reward ‘improper favour’ by Government Official 1 toward Airbus. Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.”
This revelation came to light as French, British and U.S. authorities have been investigating Airbus for alleged corruption over jet sales for more than a decade.
The plane-maker has agreed to pay a record $4 billion (€3.6 billion) after reaching settlements with investigators in Britain, France and the United States to end the probe that began four years ago.
Airbus, in 2016, reported itself and asked the regulators to look at documentation about its use of overseas agents.