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.