Ghana to probe Airbus bribery claim


Ghana ordered a probe into accusations of bribery by European aircraft manufacturer Airbus to ensure purchase of three military aircraft between 2009 and 2015.

Ghana was among dozen countries involved in a $4-billion settlement Airbus agreed with European and US regulators concerning alleged bribes to clinch sales of its aircraft.

Airbus hired and disguised about five million euros in payments to a close relative of a government official in Ghana with no aerospace experience in connection with the sale, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said.

The SFO disclosures, made public after a nearly four-year investigation, came as courts on both sides of the Atlantic formally approved settlements lifting a legal cloud over Europe’s largest aerospace group.

In Ghana the matter looks set to continue.

The West African country will “conduct a prompt inquiry to determine complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present,” President Nana Akufo-Addo’s office said in a statement.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), in power at the time, denied the bribery claims in a statement.

“Reports alleging Airbus SE paid bribes during the administration of President John Atta Mills and John Mahama are false,” the statement said.