Ex President Mills-Mahama gov’t cited in major corruption scandal involving Airbus

The JEA Mills-led government and the Mahama-led administration have been separately cited in a major corruption case involving the procurement of C-295 military aircrafts for Ghana.

The aircrafts were procured from Dutch firm Airbus SE, which has been found guilty in shady deals in some countries across the globe.

Investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK led to the exposé.

Fines were imposed by the Royal Courts of Justice in its landmark judgement on Friday.

The SFO focused its investigations on not only Airbus but its partners in South Korea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Taiwan, Ghana, Colombia and Mexico.

“In brief, persons associated with Airbus, not exclusively its employees, offered very substantial sums of money by way of bribes to third parties in order to secure the purchase of aircraft, by civil airline companies, in counts 1to 4,” the approved judgement sighted by iWatch Africa indicated.

In the case of Ghana, it involved the government between July 1, 2011 and June 1, 2015.

“Between 2009 and 2015 an Airbus defence company engaged Intermediary 5, a close relative of a high ranking elected Ghanaian Government official (Government Official 1) as its BP in respect of the proposed sale of three military transport aircraft to the Government of Ghana.

“A number of Airbus employees knew that Intermediary 5 was a close relative of Government Official 1, who was a key decision maker in respect of the proposed sales.

“A number of Airbus employees made or promised success-based commission payments of approximately €5 million to Intermediary 5.

“False documentation was created by or with the agreement of Airbus employees in order to support and disguise these payments.

“The payments were intended to induce or reward “improper favour” by Government Official 1 towards Airbus.

“Payments were eventually stopped due to the arrangement failing the due diligence processes required by the Liquidation Committee.”

While the first deal was under the presidency of the late John Evans Atta Mills, the second deal was under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama.

This will be a big blow to the former President Mahama who is seeking the mandate of Ghanaians in the December 2020 elections.

Over €29 million is expected to be received from fines against Airbus in the case involving Ghana.

The conduct is said to be a criminal violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) regulations.

By Gideon Sarpong | iWatch Africa

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a media practitioner with over six years experience in data, investigative and policy journalism. Gideon is currently the Policy and News Director at iWatch Africa. His major role includes developing news strategy for correspondents across Ghana, as well as designing project and policy focus for the organisation. He is an author with over eight publications; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation (Wealth of Nations Program), Commonwealth Youth Program (DYLP) and Bloomberg Data for Health Program. Gideon holds a degree in economics from the University of Cape Coast and PgD in Policy Journalism and Media Studies from the University of Zambia. He is a firm believer in the use of data journalism and technology for development and is committed to promoting transparency and accountability in Africa.

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