“We have been subject to investigations for suspected breach of anti-corruption laws” has recognized the executive president of Airbus in a letter sent to employees of the group and revealed by the AFP. He recalls that
“This situation is due to our decision last year to declare to the authorities and governmental agencies of the inaccuracies that we had ourselves discovered” and that this decision, taken with “the full support” of the board of directors”, was the only line of conduct possible for the group because “compliant” to “values”, “ethical standards” and “rules of compliance” of the company, was the right one.
But he warns its employees about “a risk of significant penalties for the company”.
Multiple investigations in Europe
This initiative of Thomas Enders comes at a time when Airbus is covered by a series of surveys in Europe in cases of corruption.
In Austria, the executive president himself is included among the persons covered by an inquiry into a contract’s controversial sale of 18 fighter aircraft Eurofighter to 2 billion euros in 2003, while he was in charge of the branch’s defense group EADS (AirbusGroup since January 2014).
In Germany, the weekly Der Spiegel reveals that the investigators of the bavarian would have found out the maneuvers of a “department of paris” Airbus to create “shell companies” around its former subsidiary, aircraft maintenance, to pay bribes to decision-makers in austria.
The general prosecutor’s office of Munich announced on Friday that the investigation (also opened by Germany) would soon be reached, but “little evidence” of corruption were satisfied for the moment.
In France, suspicions of corruption in the activities of civil aviation in the United Kingdom which are the subject of a preliminary investigation opened by the public prosecutor national financial (PNF).
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the british body responsible for the fight against corruption, had opened by August 2016 an investigation for suspicions of fraud, bribery and corruption ” involving irregularities relating to third-party consultants.
Call for support to the management
“We will probably be faced with exposure in the media is frequent, factual or not, leaks, and false allegations spread by people with an interest to discredit the management of Airbus,” says Mr. Enders in his letter to employees.
He asks them to prepare “to live a period of turbulent and confusing”, and their call to support the management and the board of directors.
“Don’t listen to the speech simplistic or nationalists, don’t feed the rumours,” he concluded, before asserting that with the unity and the team work, Airbus will come out “stronger and more competitive”.