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Airbus bribery scandal opens file of corruption

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: The Airbus bribery case has opened wide the file of corruption, especially after the name of a Kuwaiti popped up in the British Crown Court verdict, reports Al-Qabas daily. The details of the case, which is expected to pull out a rabbit from the hat, are closely followed by the Public Authority for Anti- Corruption (NAZAHA).

The Assistant Secretary-General for Detection of Corruption at the Authority Mohamed Bouzebar told the Al-Qabas daily the Authority has taken a number of measures including opening the channel of communications with the Al-Qabas daily to collect information and then to get in touch with the concerned authority to know, what it called the nature of the ‘Kuwait’ contract with the ‘Airbus’ and then determine its status and procedures taken in this regard. He revealed that he will get in touch with the concerned authorities in the UK or any other country to obtain more information about the deal or any news that has links with Kuwait.

Chairman of the KAC Board of Directors, Yousef Al-Jassem, said the Corporation’s board of directors is supporting NAZAHA on the issue and stressed KAC is fully prepared to provide its officials with all information and data they need to verify what was mentioned in the reports. Al-Jassem confirmed this in a letter, which he addressed to the President of NAZAHA, Chancellor Abdul Rahman Al-Namash.

According to Al-Qabas sources, other suspicions hover around the real cost of interior design of the A320 700 ranges between $700,000 and $900,000 while the requested amount was 5 million dollars for a group of aircraft and that the plane is one of the smaller models whose interior design is uniform and similar.

KAC signed a contract with Airbus to upgrade its fl eet in February 2014, with a deal, estimated at 910 million dinars, to purchase 25 aircraft and lease 12 more for 8 years. Well-informed sources said all purchase contracts signed by the government and its companies with foreign factories, such as arms deals and contracts of ‘Kuwait Airways’, include an item, requiring the factory to pay large compensation to the Kuwaiti government in the event that any bribes are proven to complete the transaction.

The same sources added: It is assumed that the contracts for the purchase of Airbus aircraft include this item because KAC is a government- owned company, and if this clause does not exist in contracts with ‘Airbus’ it will be seen as a fl agrant violation of the law and embezzlement of public money.

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