Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Austria sues Airbus, Eurofighter consortium over suspected fraud

Eurofighter Typhoon Austria sues Airbus, Eurofighter consortium over suspected fraud
Theresa Hayes | 17 February, 2017, 01:15

A recently completed ministry investigation revealed the corporation, and the four-nation Eurofighter consortium (UK, Germany, Italy and Spain) misled Vienna, falsely inflating the purchase price of 15 fighter jets, reports the Austrian Press Agency.

Airbus Group SE (EADSF.PK, EADSY.PK) issued a statement in response to the criminal allegations made by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence against Airbus Defence and Space GmbH and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, alleging willful deception and fraud linked to the order for Eurofighter jets back in 2003.

It could sue the two companies for 1.1bn euros, it said. This should have been charged separately, it said, and means it is suing for at least 183.4 million euros. "This is what we did today", Doskozil said. It then ordered a review of the purchase in 2012 in light of bribery allegations.

Airbus and Eurofighter charged almost 10% of the purchase price for offset deals, which involve work for local contractors, said the defence ministry's report. He will commission a new report to find a cheaper alternative, he said.

Hans Hamberger Major General of the Austrian armed forces Bundesheer

"Offset deals are obviously an ideal launcher for corruption, misery and money laundering", Doskozil said.

BAE and Leonardo did not reply to requests for comment.

Austria has announced it is launching a lawsuit worth up to EUR1.1 billion (USD1.17 billion) against Airbus over allegations relating to the sale of Eurofighter aircraft to the country in 2003.

"The results of the investigation support the suspicion that Eurofighter and Airbus deceived the Austrian authorities continuously since 2002", according to the report.