$39 Billion Bribes

$39 Billion Bribes

Airbus to pay $39 billion to three countries as a penalty for bribes and nondisclosures

Airbus to pay $39 billion to three countries as a penalty for bribes and nondisclosures

By Megan Porter, Marketing

International business deals are a big deal, especially if they have to do with the procurement and transport of military grade weaponry. Countries spend billions of dollars each year on national security, which is why only the most secure and trusted business partners are awarded arms deal contracts. In fact, arms transporters for the United States, in accordance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), must receive certain permits and disclose all political contributions. That way, the government can make sure that they know the political influence of arms dealers and can make sure contracts don’t go to those who would misuse national technology.

Recently, though, one of the largest international aerospace companies failed to disclose political contributions per ITAR guidelines. From 2008 to 2015, Airbus SE made undisclosed political contributions to third party companies in China in order to obtain military shipment contracts. They also made undisclosed bribes to government and non-government air traffic officials to secure support for policies that would benefit the business. This bribery scheme affected the United States, England, and France. All three countries worked together to investigate the charges against Airbus, and now Airbus has agreed to pay over $39 billion between the three countries as a penalty for their bribes and non-disclosure.

Bribery is one of the biggest threats to economic and national security. It is relatively easy to conceal, and extremely difficult to control. However, with matters as important as national security and large weapons, it is essential to work with people and businesses that can be trusted. If all deals were done simply by going with whoever can pay more, very soon illegal arms dealers would control most of the weapons traffic in the world. How, then, can governments verify the trustworthiness of potential dealers?

Converus has come up with an innovative solution to test for honesty and trustworthiness. EyeDetect® is a new, non-invasive way to detect lies. By tracking eye movement and pupil dilation, EyeDetect can determine in 30 minutes with 86% accuracy whether or not someone is being deceptive. If governments worldwide were to implement the EyeDetect technology before signing arms deals, then they could know who is paying bribes and thereby choose only the most trustworthy candidates for their contracts. And in matters of national security, trust is absolutely vital.

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