A UK Court has a £3bn fine on Europe’s biggest aerospace company, Airbus, for paying huge bribes.
The fine came after Airbus’s admission of paying huge bribes on “endemic” basis.
An official of the United Kingdom’s (UK) Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Allison Clare, revealed to the court the company had paid bribes in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Taiwan and Ghana between 2011 and 2015.
Other countries probed for possibly receiving bribes from Airbus are China, Japan, Russia, Kuwait, Brazil and Turkey.
The bribes were paid to help the company win contracts in 20 countries.
The case numbered U20200108, was heard in the Crown Court at Southwark, on January 31, 2020, with judges declaring that the corruption was “grave, pervasive and pernicious”.
Following the ruling, Airbus agreed to settle the fines by Friday, as Anti-Corruption investigators praised the ruling, describing it as the largest ever corporate fine for bribery.
The settlements were approved by courts in three countries.
President of the Queen’s Bench Division, Dame Victoria Sharp, who approved the fines with the UK's SFO, commented on the case by saying “The seriousness of the criminality in this case hardly needs to be spelled out. As is acknowledged on all sides, it was grave.”
According to her, the scale of the wrongdoing demonstrated that bribery was “endemic in two core business areas within Airbus”.
How Did It Happen?
It is said that aerospace firm formed a network of secret agents to pay huge bribes to officials in foreign countries to land high-value contracts.
A unit at its Headquarters in France is believed to have been in charge of running the corrupt network.
Airbus former Chief Executive, Tom Enders, who apparently disapproved the existence of the network, is believed to have described it as a “bullshit castle”.