Airbus bribery scandal: Blind copies were to conceal identity of govt officials – Solicitor

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Fresh revelations indicate that blind copies detailing dealings between Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational and the said Intermediary 5 and 6, were sent to the “elected government official 1.”

Speaking on My FM’s Morning Show, Mr Bernard Owusu, a solicitor in the United Kingdom, said the blind copies were to conceal the identity and involvement of the government official 1 in the dealings between intermediary 5 and 6 and Airbus.

Intermediaries 5 and 6 are said to have profited some £ 3.8 million euros out of a total of over £ 5 million Euros in bribes from the planemaker company in procuring three aircrafts for the Ghana Armed Forces.

According to Mr Owusu, the High Court’s decision to fine Airbus to the tune of £ 3 billion euros ($5 billion) was first based on bribes paid by the company to Intermediary 5 and 6 which served as an inducement for government official 1 to make payments for the procurement of the three aircrafts.

Second, was the flouting of section 7 of United Kingdom’s Bribery Act of 2010 which prohibits persons associated with businesses from “bribing others with the intention to obtain or retain business or advantage in the conduct of business.”

Airbus admitted to paying huge bribes in order to secure high-valued contracts in Ghana, under the erstwhile Mills-Mahama administration and has been slapped with a fine of £ 3 billion euros (£3bn) as penalties.

Airbus’ decision to pay the £ 3 billion euros fine follows its choice to do so rather than allow its employees serve prison time under United Kingdom’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Ghana under late President John Atta-Mills in 2011 and former President John Mahama in 2015, acquired three Airbus C295 planes from the company as part of an effort to augment and modernise the fleet of the Ghana Armed Forces.

It emerged that the first order of the military aeroplane arrived in the country on November 17, 2011, followed by a second on March 19, 2012. The last order arrived in the country on December 4, 2015.

President Mahama, in November 2014, announced that Ghana was to acquire an additional C295, in addition to other aircrafts, including five Super Tucanos, Mi-17s and four Z-9s.

A total of about $150 million was spent in acquiring all the three aircrafts, one of which overshot the runway recently.

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