The European multinational aircraft manufacturer Airbus is under investigation for alleged breaches of anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws, according to the company’s CEO Tom Enders.
In a letter to employees on October 6, Enders warned Airbus could face “significant penalties” relating to ongoing corruption probes including one into the sale of fighter jets to Austria.
“We are currently being investigated for alleged breaches of anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws,” Enders wrote in his letter, which was seen by the Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“We are in this situation because we decided last year to disclose the issues we had ourselves uncovered to government authorities and investigation agencies,” he said, adding: “This was the right course of action.”
“This is going to be a long process and there are potentially serious consequences – including significant penalties to the company,” Enders said.
As reported by AFP, an Airbus business unit in Paris reportedly built a network of shell companies linked to London-based Vector Aerospace, formerly the group’s aircraft maintenance subsidiary.
“As the process unfolds we are likely to face frequent media coverage,” Enders said in his letter to employees, while also warning against “leaks and attempts by individuals with vested interests to discredit top management by spreading false allegations.”
“In other words, prepare for turbulent and confusing times,” he wrote.