Malaysia investigates alleged Airbus bribes to AirAsia executives

The Anti-Corruption Commission of Malaysia indicated that it is investigating the payment of alleged bribes by the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to the low-cost airline of its country AirAsia.

The announcement comes after Airbus announced this week that it has reached agreements with the authorities in France, the United Kingdom and the United States for the payment of fines in connection with open investigations for suspected bribes and corruption.

The head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Latheefa Koya, said they are in contact with the British authorities to investigate allegations of such irregular practices, according to a statement released Saturday in Malaysian media.

For its part, AirAsia denied the allegations that it allegedly agreed to buy Airbus planes in exchange for this company sponsoring an airline-related sports team and said it has never used intermediaries to negotiate with the European manufacturer.

The British anti-fraud agency SFO (Serious Fraud Office) initiated an investigation in 2016 for the use of intermediaries by Airbus to secure civil and military contracts.

Upon receiving export credits from government agencies in Europe, the manufacturer was obliged to mention the intermediaries involved in his contracts and if he did not do so he was exposed to criminal proceedings.

Airbus later decided to suspend the use of these consultants and launched a transparency operation to seek a negotiated exit with the authorities of several countries to avoid a judicial conviction.


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