12 July, 2020

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Airbus Paid Bribes To Secure A350 Deal; Sri Lanka Must Demand Compensation: TISL

As aircraft manufacturer Airbus reached a record 3.6 Billion Euro settlement with US, UK and French authorities following a 4 year investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption, Transparency International Sri Lanka wishes to highlight the importance of paying compensation to the countries who are the victims of corrupt deals involving Airbus.

The statement of facts issued on 31 January 2020 as part of the Deferred Prosecution Agreement reached between Airbus and the prosecuting authorities, indicates that Airbus had agreed to pay out a sum of 16.84 Million US dollars (Rs. 2.5 bn [2015]) to influence the aircraft purchase, to a company registered in Brunei under the wife of an executive at SriLankan Airlines. Furthermore, the statement reads that Airbus had paid out a sum of 2 Million US dollars of the agreed amount to the company.

TISL Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “It is important to recall that the fallout from this deal is widely reported to have cost in excess of 17 billion rupees (USD 116mn [2015]) in cancellation penalties. Given that the evidence now shows that corruption was involved in the procurement process, it is imperative that action is taken both internationally and locally to ensure that Airbus and its agents are held accountable for losses inflicted on Sri Lanka.”

Obeyesekere added, “The settlement reached between Airbus and prosecuting authorities in the US, UK and France should by no means be interpreted as a clean slate. The actions of Airbus and its agents as far as Sri Lanka is concerned is emblematic of corrupt and exploitative business practices which prey on the vulnerable.”

TISL had previously highlighted this issue in a letter addressed to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Large-Scale Fraud & Malpractice in SriLankan Airlines. The letter dated August 2018 was accompanied by a report compiled by Corruption Watch UK, detailing potentially corrupt deals involving Airbus and several other airlines and a letter co-signed by TISL along with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from France, Indonesia, Tunisia, the UK and the US. This letter dated June 2018 was addressed to the Serious Frauds Office in the UK, the Parquet National Financier in France, the US Department of Justice and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Key among the recommendations made by the CSOs was that countries where it is proven that Airbus or its agents have paid bribes, are fully compensated for harm caused. Whilst court approval was granted in the UK today for the Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Airbus, Sri Lankan authorities must take this opportunity to hold to account those responsible, both domestic and foreign, for the significant losses inflicted on the Sri Lankan public. (TISL)

Read the statement of facts here

To read more about A350 click here

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Latest comments

  • 27
    0

    But first let us know who was bribed ?????, who got the money/kickbacks by signing agreements??????Compensation can wait. Even if we are compensated, that too will go into the deep pockets of our politicians

    • 7
      1

      as chiv rightly states the full list of those who were capable of being and those who had taken the bribes should be exposed and all attempts to bring them to spend the rest of their days behind bars in the comforts of the 8-star luxurious prison system.
      =
      I am surprised that only one person has been identified so car but what about the high and mighty which included the local agent for the airbus company.?
      =
      not one person irrespective of their political connections should be spared even the mightiest if suspected of being involved in corrupt dubious transactions should first have to face a fair court trial process and if found to be guilty, the full arms of the law should be extended to them.
      =
      now with the present rulers and their gangs of corrupt uncouth criminal goons, this will be a no can do and will take place in the land of a tasteless paradise.
      =
      cheers, R. J

      • 4
        1

        France is another Rogue State like the US and UK (P3). French colonies in Africa where French companies are looting minerals from former colonies are a mess.
        France has also looted the Western Indian Ocean Fisheries with French trawlers in Seychelles and Reunion and France has claimed 10 percent of the Indian Ocean from UNCLOS even though it is nowhere near the Indian Ocean. The Somali pirates used to be fishermen but their fish were stolen by french trawlers in Western Indian Ocean.
        Also now NATO led by France is moving taking over the Indian Ocean with Fake aid to the Fisheries sector for Harbour development in Lanka. French companies have signed over 30 agreements to loot fisheries in Sri Lanka’s exclusive Economic Zone
        Led by France, (P3 US-UK-France), NATO is taking over the Indian Ocean that has been re-named the Indo-Pacific, while Modi is distracted with destroying India with the CCA , as the Indian Security establishment is totally under the sway of CIA and its fake ISIL narrative and Islamophobia. So India has forgotten the Ocean that bears her name with the US puppet Modi playing pucks!

        • 1
          2

          Lankan politicians like CBK and NGO glitterati love French Wine and Cheese parties, so nothing will be done to hold the French govt. accountable for Air Bus’s crimes and French companies that are over-fishing in and looting the Indian Ocean.

          Yes, France is certainly a Rogue State that provides Fake Aid to advance its dirty business interests. Macron is like Obama the drone killer king!
          French troops in Africa are running amok like the US troops in Middle east and Afghanistan. In Mali some were killed. France owns and operates AL Shabarb to keep its boots on the ground in the Sahel and loot minerals from DRC COngo.
          In Sri Lanka, the EU hypes it “cultural heritage” and shows third rate films at its so called EU film Fest in Colombo!

          • 0
            0

            Macron thinks he is Napoleon re-born: a small man with an inferiority complex who must prove himself it seems so is strutting around Africa with his war toys and French troops to ensure that France can continue to loot former colonies, while riots and protests rock Paris because of Macron’s anti-labour and pro-big businesses like Airbus Industrie.

            Also, this info. was released after US’ Boeing Company had to round its MAX plans after 2 crashes from which Frances Airbus is benefiting, – this is all part of the little US Trade war with France… Wheels within wheels.
            Long live the mad man Trump and swiftly may the US-NATO empire crash!

    • 3
      0

      chiv

      you are right.Without first jailing the guys who took the money how can we go and accuse them of giving bribes.Have the cake and eat it too.They will deny it.

    • 1
      0

      there would not have been many srilankan offi cials who could have the clout in the final decision making.

      One,Two or both perhaps.It wont be rocket science to find out

      The question is whether it would be disclosed at all since some political connections of the current regime is bound to surface

    • 6
      1

      A picture is worth a thousand words….
      https://www.facebook.com/flysrilankan/photos/a.468336989916898/468340946583169/?type=1&theater

      Now he is back again as the Chairman of Sri Lankan Airlines…The question is with whom was the bribe shared or on behalf of whom was the bribe picked up?

    • 1
      0

      Colombo Telegraph,

      President Gotabaya Rajapaksa orders a comprehensive probe to see if the culprits belong to the tribe or not.

      If the culprits belong to the tribe, nothing will happen. If the culprits do not belong to the tribe, the culprits can keep half the loot, give the other half to the tribe, and join the tribe.

      Do the culprits prostrate to the monks as well, expecting to achieve the elusive Nibbana, extinction, or it is just Monk-imposed tradition on the imbeciles?
      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 upon procurement of aircraft.

      The President’s Media Division said that the President had ordered the probe after several media reported alleged misdeeds relating to the transaction between the national carrier and Europe-based Airbus Industry.

      “Upon seeing these reports President Rajapaksa immediately ordered officials to initiate a full scale inquiry into these allegations, covering all aspects of the deal and report back to him,” the PMD said.

    • 0
      0

      Just in..
      The Attorney General has directed the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to obtain a warrant and arrest the former CEO of SriLankan Airlines Kapila Chandrasena and his wife on charges of money laundering.

      During the Oct coup one of the first appointments of MR was to reappoint him CEO of SriLankan. To secure the files! It was quickly revoked. Now do we know how the loot was shared?

  • 6
    0

    The money was paid to a company owned by the wife of an sri lankan airline executive. Good fun to collect 2mil. I cannot be that hard to find these people from 2011- todate. What should follow of the currupt practices of the current CEO/CFO along with unsafe acts performed on aircraft by the CTO who is begging for extension after 60. One day sadly an aircraft will have ab accident becasue of this man’s action. All this to prove to get an extension. God bless all

    • 12
      0

      Save ..,
      The question is whether SL justice system is strong enough to punish Ra..kse clan for their crimes committed against the nation? Will SL voters ever understand the how corrupt they really are? Will yellow robers like Elle’ Gunawansa who also took $ 38,000 from China with the auspicious from the same corrupt family will ever say that that Ra..kse clan must be punished for betraying the nation for money?

      • 0
        0

        I heard that GoRa has ordered relevant authorities to submit a full report of the Airbus scam. But why when he, as a participant, knew each every detail of the scam? GoRa catching thieves will be like pickpocketers pointing to the direction of runaways or HORAGE AMMAGEN PE’NA AHANAWA. GoRa must understand that, no matter how hard he tries to erase his dirty past upto 2015, it will come back to haunt him, at least occasionally, even if he manage to evade the law thanks to SL corrupt political system.

  • 11
    0

    This is just the tip of the iceberg.

    You make money when you order aircrafts and then you make money when you cancel the orders. It is as simple as that.

    There is ample evidence gathered during the Presidential Commission on Sri LANKAN and MIHIN to jail every director who has been on the board for the last 15 years, all senior management for negligence and not acting in the best interest of the company. Very unlikely that the Police or the Judiciary will want to take these culprits on.

    Every time you either buy an aircraft or lease an aircraft , there will be kick backs. Even now management and board members are trying to lease Airbus 330 aircraft at higher prices to fly Paris and Frankfurt when they very well know that both these sectors including London will make losses even at full capacity. When five year old aircraft are available at 300,000 USD monthly rental, we are looking for aircraft around USD 500,000 for obvious reasons.

    No government has shown any interest in cleaning up the corrupt system within state institutions and Sr LANKAN is no exception.

  • 8
    0

    so its the O/L qualified B-I-L the ex-planter or his wife got this bribe of 2M USD as the 1st installment to be shared with the Sataka family? or its only for B-I-L family? these are what Yahapalanya under Sirisena/Ranil hide from the masses.

    It was told this 2M is out of a total of 16M bribe. Eventually this deal was cancelled by YP and the country lost USD120 Million. Who is going to jail for this?

    • 8
      0

      The short answer to ‘who is going to jail for this?’ – No-one.

      • 2
        0

        Sri Lankan people who vote for them

    • 5
      0

      Matilda,
      Why are you so scared to say the (B)rother (I)n (L)aw of MaRa/Gora Nishantha Wickramasinghe and his wife are the persons involved. Since he was the controversial chairman of Mihin Lanka where GoRa was a director, It is more than clear that GoRa also news about the AirBus Scam from the outset. As a matter of fact, the whole family is in it. The first meeting to set up Mihin was held in Chara’s official residence (he was the speaker at the time) with the whole family all in attendance. It will be very interesting to see what & how the denial would be! Will the story “get sick” by the coronavirus?

      • 6
        0

        The reason not naming N.Wickramasinghe is I surely do not know. It may be one of the other staff wife involved here and loot shared among them all.

        It was funny., one of Nishantha’s son is studying to be a pastor., LoL., the parents may need to save enough for his future as Pastors are not making much money.

        This country politically is such garbage and the rot will never end.

    • 2
      0

      No one. Only people like RR will go to jail.

      Not only that many are unware that another in law of the ex-Sataka king (when he was just another politician) was involved and the lead dealer of the first bus deal.

    • 6
      0

      I heard on the grape vine that the alleged recipient is the wife of the ex-CEO (not the wife of the b-i-l and ex-chairman); and I also heard on the same vine that this ex-CEO was being considered for the same job under the existing (new) vipathmaga regime, but this did not go through as planned.

  • 5
    0

    Bribe takers and bribe givers who are in command. The UN should introduce world wide travel ban on those who are involved and suspected of national and international frauds to stop such crimes.

  • 3
    0

    Simple thing to do. Get all the case records from the UK courts. The Air Bus has “ADMITTED” giving “BRIBES” in various countries, including Sri Lanka. In this “ADMISSION” the company, at the time of investigations, would have definitely “REVEALED” the “Individuals” and “Institutions” that were paid the bribes. No Sri Lanka “Commissions” or “Law Enforcement” would handle this. That is a SURE thing.

  • 3
    0

    First there was the Weliamuna Commission Report. This highlighted wrongdoing and named names. Nobody was prosecuted and nothing happened.
    *
    A further 1 year long investigation into SriLankan wrapped up last year. During this investigation it was clear from summaries of testimony given by various people that a great deal of wrongdoing had taken place.
    *
    This report has not been released to the public and as far as I know nobody has been charged.
    *
    This report needs to be made public.
    *
    The US$ 2.3 Billion aircraft order was just another way for a small group of people to pocket Millions.
    *
    There are still 4 A350 aircraft on order. That’s a US$ 1 Billion order. If I understand correctly U$800 Million still needs to be paid.

  • 2
    0

    Part 2
    *
    US$ 2.3 Billion aircraft order. All these aircraft are leased at above market rates on 12 year leases. These leases do not have a termination clause. This means the Airline has to pay! The lease costs are so high that it is impossible for the Airline to make money – no matter what the Clowns running things say.
    *
    The reason this was set up in this manner was to maximise the Commission paid out on this deal. 5% represents US$ 115 Million. There has never been any investigation into who pocketed these Commissions.
    *
    The 4 A350 still on order directly from Airbus appear to have been purchased at full list price instead to the 40-50% discount normally negotiated by Airlines. Once again this is to maximise the value of the deal and the Commissions paid out.
    *
    SriLankan has been trying to change this aircraft order for the past 4 years but no luck. `The only logical conclusion is that once again there is no termination clause in this contract.
    *
    Now you know what is really going on.

  • 9
    1

    Once again where are the “Puss Veerayo” of Viyath Maga? Where are the GMOA thugs? Where are the so called yellow saffron thugs? Where are the rapists, thugs and murderers of Pohottuwa? Why are these opportunists not demanding from Gotabaya to immediately appoint a Presidential Commission of inquiry to find who is the wife of the executive who took the bribe and to whom she distributed these $1 million bribe? Gotabaya promised that he will bring all the corrupt guys before the courts, but in action what we see is he is allowing those who have cases to be heard on Feb 17th (Mahindananda) to leave the country to avoid the Trial at Bar court and go to China when the courts originally banned his travel abroad. Gotabaya also promised that only qualified and experienced will be appointed to Corporations and Boards and no MP who has allegation against him will be given Minister post. But in action we do not see that. What does all these things mean, as GL Pieris said “all election promises are not for (the President) to follow”. Well SL voters its time for you all to open your eyes. Even those who said they will not sell lands to foreigners have sold two properties to Shangrilla related companies within 3 months of coming to power that too a weak minority Govt. Are you going to continue voting for rogues and to those who protect rogues.

    • 1
      0

      Why no Presidential Commission? Who. Is Gota protecting? His relative?

  • 0
    4

    I think Transparency International; going to prosecution itself may be a scandle. Because, this is how eastern trade works. No point of talking about giving commis. Then comes the industrial espionage among big companies.
    What all these politicians and their appointed bureaucrats do is they use their corrupt arguments where ethical business decisions must be taken. Both govts did the same. Even the Sri Lankan airlines Catering service owned man while running his catering service from Britain to Singapore earned 4 million or something chairing the air line management board meetings. Simple Pohottuwa group is all together because of that taste.

  • 10
    0

    MR and his catchers were involved. Ranil hushed up all this

  • 3
    0

    Just don’t think about this S16M. A fraud happened in a market oriented deals will come back one day. But the Royal family deposited $18B from Chinese deal and Japanese Thaligodi gold swindling trade.

    One Lakh Chinese said to be working in a country, whose residents are leaving to Middle East to clean toilets without any work, locally.

    In Lankawe, Kleptocracy governments have no money to fix the railway roads in Tamils area. India built the new Northern railway corridor, the most profitable pathway in Lankawe. There are no railway crossing are installed by Kleptocracy governments so the people and cattle are dying in North every day. But Chinese are earning enough money working in Lankawe so they want to put special lines for their travelling in which local cannot travel. Isn’t that the Colonial Governments built Railway was shared with locals too? Is this country is a modern, China Built, Pretoria South Africa? To destroy to this much Chinese commission is working in Lankawe.
    Probably a Chinese plane maker has started pay for this TISL so the recent Chinese plane falling down incident can be pushed to back burner and China can loan, sell and operate the planes from Mahinda Bachan Naked International Airport.
    It looks like this TISL guys are Deepika’s brothers. These Modayas seems to be having no idea that these Air Busses are going to pick up cat, dog and shark from Europe but no human being can travel on these.
    Kleptocracy governments allowed China to write its own Visa and go to Lankawe, so now West is shutting of its tourists from Lankawe. Lankawe Mahajans are getting off from buses when they see Chinese in them. I remember the pogrom celebration days during which days they beating and pulling out the Pottu Vaitha Mukhams from Colombo buses. Proudly I am one of those who were extradited from Colombo bus for having Pottu. Can these Punnakku and Arrack eating Sinhala Buddhist Modayas understand one word on these matters?

  • 1
    0

    One great mistake of our newspapers and websites is that after publishing this type of massive corrupt activities once they are forgotten in the face of a natural disaster of some other important news item. Only the political opponents of the corrupt parties try to reawaken such issues from time to time especially on the eve of an election but as members of public are convinced that almost all our politicians are corrupt they seldom care for such revelations. For example people accused of corrupt deals like Weeratunga and Mahendran are evading arrest and succesive governments do little or nothing to bring them before the law.

    Cannot our newspapers and websites do something to bring people’s attention to these incidents on daily basis without allowing them to fade away with time?

  • 5
    1

    Was it Mrs.Kapila C .?

  • 0
    0

    Who was the CEO 2011-2015 ? He should be questioned about the USD2M plus many other shady deals during his time. As CEO’s go there is one in place now who is no better, another backdoor entrant who talks and delivers crap . Unions love this chap as he will allow them erode the company further (tax payers account)
    No hope for the airlines

  • 5
    0

    What the UNF was elected to do in 2015 which they never fulfilled due to the inner deals between RW and the Rajapakse’s. Sri Lanka is in a non progressive state as politicians take turns every 5 years to line their pockets. We the public are taken for the biggest ride and end Up being the biggest losers.

    Can somebody name and shame this executive and his wife and let’s try to bring them to book even if the politicians fail.

  • 2
    0

    Corruption has been a way of life in all third world countries & SL is no exception. In South America, Africa & the middle East to Indonesia & Malaysia, the rulers & their cronies have amassed trillions which have been laundered, even in Europe, where there are tight anti money laundering legislation. Conglomerates exploited corruption to expand their business, Tony Blair acknowledged BAE bribing the influential Saudi prince for the purchase of military aircraft as it ‘safeguarded British jobs’. The Chinese joined in with a finger in every pie in all third world countries with their ‘aid’ packages but as the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The Rajapakse regime took full advantage, blatantly embraced corruption, yet, we are quite happy to ignore such allegations, after all, the Rajapakses single handed ended the war for which we should be eternally grateful. Corruption at the top trickles down, just as water flows down from higher ground.

    Corruption at Sri Lankan / Air Lanka has always been there from the inception. I can vaguely remember accusations of bribery when the first fleet of aircraft were bought from ailing Lockheed even though the technical training had been with Boeing. Of course, they were only rumours which the govt. didn’t bother to investigate & if I am not mistaken, the same can be expected for this scandal as well. If the MIG scandal can be shoved under the carpet, can we expect any better?

  • 2
    0

    So what about it. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CT ??? what are you trying to prove. ?????????
    It is not a uncommon act in Sri lanka and among sri lankans to accept bribes in all fields of life.
    Bribery and corruption is a part of lankan culture and will be until doomsday.
    The Corona virus can be controlled and eradicated but bribery and corruption in SL has become so bloody endemic that it is beyond redemption.
    Shame on Sri lanka, a damn shame on sri lankans and bloody shame on its culture.
    If Sri lankans can bribe Almighty God they will do it and it is being done, but God is far and wide above bribery.
    Lovely land , Bloody Shameless People.

  • 2
    0

    Now the President of Sri Lanka – Mr. Gotabaya Rajapakse has ordered an “Investigation” into the matter. We already had “TWO” such investigations – (1) Weliamuna Investigation (2) A Presidential Commission. In contrast , UK had “ONE” Fraud Investigation followed with a “Court Case”. The “Accused” had no alternative, but to “ADMIT” guilt and “CONFESS”. Unfortunately “Air Bus” company could not or did not have the presence of mind to “Recruit” Lawyers from Sri Lanka. If I knew of any such intention, without betting an eye lid , Ramesh de Silva and Ali Sbari;s names would have been sent promptly. These two “Lawyers” very successfully got “GR” out of that “Rs 39 million DR Memorial” affair and without stopping at that got him elected the President of the country. So where , this “Presidential Inquiry” leads to? Guess.

  • 1
    0

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  • 0
    0

    Brunei? Yes, that’s a rich country, and some smart-mouthed Lankan merrily takes all kinds of comissional cuts amounting to millions and billions.

    The best contract/product does not get to the market. Companies and workers struggling to find a place in the business market are at the mercy of skewed deals. Good business practices are hijacked by the monetary wheeler-dealer movement.  Money goes out of Brunei like water. Prices for goods and services go up. Local hardworking  Bruneians struggle on a daily basis. Very sad indeed.

    And can you imagine the effects on a poor country like Sri Lanka?

    And the abscondees, what do they do? They do all kinds of “holy” things with the money : children sent to best colleges and universities in US; alternate business companies and firms set up so can roll their skewed wealth….all the while convincing themselves they are doing something noble with their new companies. No indeed! Let them know they’ve unbalamced and crippled the natural established country system that had been think-tanked for the Suffering Masses, and set up their own concentric circles of powerdom.

  • 0
    0

    Useless trying to catch or teach the punnakku eating criminals. Who is the clean cop to fix all these crimes off the books?

    Forget everything and join the mill and grab as much as you can. No Savior can redeem the lost name and fame of CEYLON.

  • 0
    0

    Here is what the UNP’s ex Best Finance Minister in the East, said after cancelling the order for the Airbus A350.

    Quote “This Plane flies for 17 hours with a full tank.. We do not fly that far . We only need 10 to 12 hours Maximum range . And mostly it is 4 to 5 hours .So why do we need these planes with big Petrol Tanks” un quote.

    The Talk of the town was then the UNP commission agents negotiated the cost to cancel the Order and paid some USD 170 Million or something in that order for the cancellation.

    That was nearly 5 years ago . And there must be a significant Interest accumilated and compounding on that 170 Mil , because our Srilnakan is operates on Credit Cards .

    Anyway the moral of the story is SIA now is flying A350 to even Lankawe which is only 3 hours away.
    And they know their Onions.
    A 350 uses 25 % less fuel than any other Aircraft in that category.

    Besides they are leading edge Tech Aircraft, which attract customers for the clean Air, Comfort and the Safety factors.

    Since cancelling the A 350 , Srilankan has leased ageing A330’s from second hand dealers.
    I am not sure about the lease arrangement . But I am 100% sue that a decent cut out of each monthly payment ends up in a UNP agent’s Bank account, most probably in the Bahamas next to Panama Canal.

    Srilankan Board Directors are not appointed on merit although Dr Rani’s Government said it was all Scientific. .
    But for Dr Rani’s the best Finance minister to make that comment about the A350 does not indicate any Science there.

    So the Board Directors see the Dollar signs clearer than Science.
    And the Agents selling Aircraft have to induce them if they want to sell their wares.

  • 1
    0

    Nothing will happen. We all know that. The moment relatives of the Rajapakse gang are implicated in the Airbus deal out will go this probe. Anyway, Sri Lankan Airlines should be shut down. Its a billion dollar loss maker propped up by the treasury. Just absorb all the debt and sell it for a dollar to a carrier like Singapore Airlines. I doubt whether even they will buy it.

  • 2
    0

    It is none other than the then CEO Kapila Chandrasena and his wife Priyanka

  • 0
    0

    A single local agent of airbus cannot solely pull this deal alone. She was guided by many other goats who sat in the executive chairs waiting for the green leaves to be deposited in to their bank accounts. A thorough inquiry is necessary to understand the depth of involvement by an interdependent and none governmental commission. Again, one appointing a commission to investigate themselves produces absolute zero results. Why does the airbus has to even consider a settlement for our incompetency, bad ethics and no integrity ?

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