MACC in touch with UK authorities over AirAsia, AirAsia X graft claims

MACC chief Latheefa Koya has sought more details from the United Kingdom on the corruption allegations.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed that it is in touch with the UK authorities over corruption allegations implicating Airbus and two executives of AirAsia.

Chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said they are probing the matter.

“Under the MACC Act, we are empowered, and have jurisdiction, to investigate any act of corruption committed by any Malaysian citizen or permanent resident in any place outside Malaysia,” she said in a statement.

It was earlier reported that two “executives” at budget airlines AirAsia and AirAsia X have been mentioned in legal documents, listing instances of bribery by Airbus to secure contracts through corrupt middlemen to sell its aircraft worldwide, according to Britain’s The Telegraph.

The documents are part of a multi-billion dollar settlement reached with anti-graft authorities in Britain, France and the US, after the European plane maker admitted to “endemic levels of bribery across its international business”, the paper said today.

It said Airbus had handed over more than 30 million documents to investigators.

In the settlement, Airbus agreed to pay nearly €1 billion (RM4.5 billion) in the UK, €2.1 billion (RM9.5 billion) in France and €530 million (RM2.4 billion) in the US.

Citing documents attached to the settlement, The Telegraph reported that Airbus paid US$50 million (RM204 million) and offered US$55 million (RM225 million) more to sponsor a sports team linked to two unnamed “key decision-makers” at AirAsia and AirAsia X.

“The airlines ordered 180 aircraft from Airbus, with the executives described as being ‘rewarded in respect of the aircraft order’, which the document said was ‘secured by way of improper payments’,” the daily had said.