According to the Saudi Reality Site, the Southwark Crown Court in the British capital, London, issued a ruling to fine a former Airbus unit of more than 30 million pounds ($ 42 million), after pleading guilty to corruption charges regarding contracts to provide military communications services to the Saudi National Guard.
GBT Special Project Management, which shut down its operations last year, had previously informed the Southwark Crown Court that it would admit one charge of corruption in employment contracts between December 2008 and July 2010.
The decision was also issued to confiscate 20.6 million pounds, fine them 7.5 million, and spend 2.2 million, while forcing them to pay within a maximum period of 10 days.
Corruption and bribery scandals
A report by the American Bloomberg Agency quoted Judge Simon Brian, after the verdict, in which he said that the unit’s guilty plea “forms part of the history of corruption that has existed for a number of years, before and after the indictment period.”
In the Prosecutor’s eight-year investigation center, there were allegations that the Riyadh-based subsidiary had paid bribes to win a £ 2 billion ($ 2.8 billion) contract to provide services and training to the Saudi National Guard on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defense.
According to the USAID, the case was particularly politically sensitive, due to the British government’s involvement, and was postponed after the Attorney General sought outside legal advice on the case.
For his part, an Airbus spokesperson said in a statement: “The investigation conducted by the Serious Fraud Crimes Office relates to the contractual arrangements that arose prior to Airbus’s acquisition of GPT and continued thereafter.”
Before adding: “Airbus’s cooperation with GPT’s Office of Financial Crime Prevention and Acceptance of Responsibility reflects a commitment to confronting, learning from, and building on the important compliance reforms that have been implemented.”
The Spotlight Corporation, an anti-corruption campaigner, described the decision, which came after an investigation that lasted nearly nine years, as a “stunning, hard-won victory” for Britain’s Serious Fraud Office that initiated the case.
The office brought charges against GBT and three individuals last year, and the trial of the individuals was postponed to May 2022.
The investigation is not linked to a $ 4 billion delayed prosecution agreement between Airbus and US, British and French authorities in 2020 after a three-year investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption over aircraft sales.