The former chief executive of Avianca on Wednesday rejected a French court verdict in which European airliner Airbus admitted it agreed to bribe a senior executive of Colombia’s largest airliner.
In a press conference, controversial businessman German Efromovich denied knowing about any corruption and accused this website, which revealed Avianca’s embroilment in the global corruption scandal, of “distorting the story.”
According to Efromovich, he negotiated the deal with airbus, but denied requesting a bribe or knowing about the investigation into Airbus’ global corruption practices.
“I do not know the process, the investigation is running in France and England and involves some alleged actions of Airbus people with people from companies in several countries,” said Efromovich.
French anti-corruption agency AFA said Friday that among these people was “a senior executive of Avianca Holdings,” the parent company of Avianca.
Avianca CEO Anko van der Werff told media on Monday that “we will take all necessary steps and legal action to defend the company and its shareholders” and said Avianca would hire a law firm “to conduct an independent internal investigation into the business relationship between Avianca and Airbus, and thus determine whether Avianca was the victim of improper or illegal actions” by one of its chief executives.
Airbus agreed to a $3.9 billion settlement with authorities in the United States, the UK and France after admitting that its international strategy and marketing department had bribed airliners in multiple countries.
In Colombia, the European airplane manufacturer agreed to pay at least $4 million in 2014 after “the senior executive of Avianca Holdings had requested a commission for his role in supporting the ongoing A320neo sales campaign to Avianca,” Airbus admitted to the authorities.
Efromovich is Avianca’s majority shareholder, but was replaced as the chairman of the executive board last year by Roberto Kriete, who had accused the controversial businessman of having “plundered” the airliner.
The controversial businessman has also been implicated in the illegal wiretapping of Avianca’s labor union in 2017.