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    President orders full probe into allegations over Airbus deal Featured

    February 03, 2020

    President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has ordered a comprehensive investigation into reports of allegations over financial irregularities said to have committed during the deal between SriLankan Airlines and Airbus SE for the purchase of aircrafts.An English language weekly in yesterday’s issue and a few websites on Saturday have published reports describing alleged misdeeds relating to the transaction between the national carrier and Europe based Airbus Industries. Upon seeing these reports, President Rajapaksa immediately ordered officials to initiate a full inquiry into these allegations, covering all aspects of the deal and report back to him, the President’s Media Division said in a release.

    The news reports said Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace multinational, had offered a 16 million US dollar bribe to the wife an employee of Sri Lanka’s state airline for a large aircraft order, and at least two million dollars were paid to a ‘straw company’ set up in Brunei.The news reports cited a report by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.It was on a financial misappropriation that took place during a transaction between the Sri Lankan Airlines and Airbus when agreements were reached to purchase six A330 aircraft and 4 A350 aircraft and to lease an additional four aircrafts, in June 2013.
    SriLankan to extend fullest cooperation to any probe
    SriLankan Airlines issuing a statement yesterday extended its fullest cooperation to any investigation regarding the allegations over financial irregularities said to have committed during the deal between Sri Lankan Airlines and Airbus SE for the purchase of aircraft.

    “SriLankan Airlines Limited has become aware of a Judgement in the United Kingdom related to a charge of corruption in the purchase/ lease of aircraft between the period June 2011-2015.Therefore, the Chairman with the concurrence of the Board has directed the management to cooperate fully with any Governmental agency in the event of any investigation/prosecution.

    The management has also been directed to preserve and study all available internal documentation with a view to take all possible corrective future action,” Corporate Communications of the national carrier said in its statement.


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