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Report: EADS Execs Knew About Payments

The Financial Times said Tuesday that an internal financial controller alerted senior EADS executives as early as 2007 that alleged bribes might be going to Saudi Arabian officials.

Carola Hoyos, the Times’ defense correspondent, said the financial controller was concerned about payments to Cayman Island bank accounts and gifts to Saudi royal family members and military officials.

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office said last week it is investigating possible bribes by a British subsidiary of EADS, GPT Special Project Management Ltd.

The Times said the controller first alerted GPT’s managing director and the CEO of its parent, a company called Paradigm, part of EADS’ space division.

‘Evidence from three former and current GPT executives suggests that . . . there was at least £11.5 million in unexplained payments between 2007 and 2009,’ the Times said Tuesday.

A former employee who claimed he was fired after raising concerns about the alleged bribery said last year the company gave Saudi officials cars, jewellery, and cash to win a £2 billion communications contract.

The Times this week said EADS executives were still approving contracts for the project as late as 2010 despite concerns expressed about undefined ‘bought in’ services included in them.

The full report from the Financial Times is here.

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