Daily Management Review

Airbus faces investigation in the US


According to experts, the European aerospace corporation Airbus could face investigation in the United States. Earlier, British authorities launched a similar investigation on suspicion of fraud, bribery and corruption. The proceedings are related to violations when working with outside consultants.

British newspaper The Times spoke with a lawyer, who has repeatedly conducted affairs related to investigations of the British Serious Fraud Office (SFO). He is sure that investigation into activities of European aircraft manufacturer Airbus in the UK is much likely to be followed up by the US Department of Justice. A week ago, the SFO announced start of an investigation in relation to Airbus. The investigation is meant to examine operations of sales department of civilian aircraft Airbus Group as it is suspected in fraud, bribery and corruption. According to the SFO, the investigation is centered around irregularities in work with third-party consultants. The French and German authorities are also considering the situation.

The investigation is directly related to loans and bank guarantees worth billions of pounds, issued for the corporation by the British government agency UK Export Finance. This spring, the UK Export Finance Airbus has suspended loan granting due to discrepancies in declarations submitted by the company. According to The Times’ sources, the US government is likely to be interested in this business as this situation may hurt the United States’ interests, too. "US Department of Justice intervenes when it considers that the case within its jurisdiction. The Ministry of Justice would begin its own investigation, if it considers that the case involved American citizens, used US payment system, or any acts were committed on the territory of the United States ", - told the lawyer, who requested anonymity. At the same time, CEO of Airbus is American John Leahy, the company's transactions are made in US dollars, and acts committed on the territory of the United States usually mean transactions or other activities on the Internet, if the involved servers are located in the United States.

Four years ago, the US Department of Justice launched an investigation against the British aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce soon after the SFO started a similar investigation. According to The Times, the US Department of Justice may act to protect interests of American manufacturers. Note that major competitors of Rolls-Royce are US companies Pratt & Whitney and GE, while that of Airbus - American Boeing.

The Times conducted its own investigation. It shows that in the last ten years, Airbus customers have received about £ 11 billion ($ 14.2 billion) through UK Export Finance in the form of loans and bank guarantees. As stated in the agency, these funds have been allocated for maintenance of jobs in Airbus, Rolls-Royce and many other manufacturers of components for aircraft.

source: thetimes.co.uk

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