Der Spiegel, on October 6, outlined several cases of Airbus corruption that are proving catastrophic for the company.
Our Airbus sources confirm that London-based Vector Aerospace received 114 million pounds from EADS, which was transferred to shell companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, and the British Virgin Islands. The money paid commissions for the sale of 18 Eurocopter helicopters to Austria, but also provided a slush fund for more kickbacks to come.
The sources say Tom Enders, Airbus CEO, was aware of the purpose of Vector and a Cypriot company, Omesco, which delegated offset deals to international clients.
Enders' strategy of acting as an anti-corruption superhero touting full transparency sets his sullied reputation against his knowledge of dirty payments to officials in the past.
The question is, will the CEO's strategy enable a plea bargain between Airbus and the investigators - the U.K.'s SFO and France's PNF? Or will these alleged watchdogs sink their teeth into proven corruption and start aggressive prosecutions in the multiple countries involved?
As we've previously reported, the French PNF has good reason to avoid such a crackdown. The corruption goes all the way to the Elysee - officials who have been implicated in Airbus kickbacks. Look no further than the sales of satellites to Kazakhstan.
Our confidential sources within Airbus have told us that company payoffs to government officials in target countries was common practice. If the PNF and SFO fully investigated Airbus, they would uncover numerous instances in which high-level foreign government officials were receiving kickbacks from Airbus. Our Airbus sources have also stated that senior French government officials were receiving payments, in addition to a slew of European lobbyists acting as intermediaries between the company and foreign governments.
Airbus has admitted in very general terms to paying kickbacks. The company alluded to “misstatements and omissions” in its half-yearly financial report published July 27, and confessed to inaccurately reporting the involvement of independent consultants in April (see The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/09/business/international/airbus-britain-corruption-investigation.html?_r=0 ).
Our Airbus sources claim that if the company makes such a broad apology and pays a public fine, then the details of larger-scale corruption will go unrevealed. In our September 28 post, we highlighted numerous examples of Airbus corruption worldwide. In 2010, for instance, sources tell us that then Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov received 12 million euros, confirmed by Mediapart, as part of a deal of 45 Airbus helicopters to Almaty. The sources also reiterated that senior company officials were fully aware and permissive of payoffs being made worldwide during that period.
As we also previously stated, senior French government officials were receiving payments from Airbus to leverage their political influence in Almaty to help win the helicopter contract with Kazakhstan. Both Aymori de Montesquiou, a Senator in the Elysee, and Etienne Des Rosaies, former assistant to President Sarkozy, met with lawyer Catherine Degoul, who was facilitating commission payments.
What remains unclear is why the PNF and SFO are allowing corruption between Airbus and French officials and other instances of wrongdoing to go uninvestigated.