U.K. Serious Fraud Office has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption relating to some third-party consultants against Airbus Group.
The French-based group announced the probe on Sunday and said it is co-operating with the British authorities. The investigation into potential criminal dealings in the sale of commercial planes was launched in July.
“Airbus Group has been informed by the SFO that it has opened a criminal investigation into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption in the civil aviation business of Airbus Group relating to irregularities concerning third party consultants. Airbus Group continues to cooperate with the SFO,” statement, issued on Sunday, mentioned.
Earlier this year, a UK government agency suspended the issue of export credits to Airbus, due to discrepancies in declarations by the manufacturer on the use of outside intermediaries during jet sale negotiations. Airbus said it had flagged up the mistakes and omissions relating to applications for export credit financing for its customers.
The agency, UK Export Finance, had said it was referring the discrepancies to the SFO, which would decide whether to launch a criminal investigation. French and German agencies have also halted the plane-maker’s export credits, which support deliveries to airlines with limited access to commercial funds.
Airbus’ international subsidiaries have already been subject to claims. Offshoots and companies jointly owned by Airbus had come under investigation in the last two years in Germany, Greece and Turkey.