The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has intensified its probe into the Airbus bribery case to understand whether a US $2.2 billion Airbus SE jetliner sale to a state-owned airline involved bribes.
This law enforcement agency under the government of India is inspecting a ₹1.42 billion ($20 million) linked to the purchase of 43 jets by Indian Airlines in 2006 along with the commitment to provide aircraft-overhaul facilities that were never built.
Based in Delhi, Indian Airlines, later Indian, majorly served domestic routes, along with a few international sectors across Asia. In 2007, the government announced that Indian would be merged into Air India.
A Bloomberg report states how investigation was stepped up immediately after Airbus agreed to settle $4 billion for years of illegal payments to key decision makers in its efforts to win orders, last month. Technically, the deal is said to have involved 20 countries, India included, although, the settlement covered only 12, excluding the South Asian country.
As per the article, ED is also looking at why the maintenance provision, worth about $175 million, wasn’t in the final agreement with Airbus, and whether the removal involved impropriety.
The police investigation for this began in 2010, four years after Indian Airlines ordered for A320-series narrow-body jets. An investigation team was sent to Europe question Airbus executives.