Airbus bribery saga: Interpol declares Samuel Mahama, 3 others fugitives …orders their arrest

Interpol has declared Samuel Adam Mahama, Sarah Furneaux, Sarah Leanne Davis, and Philip Sean Middlemiss as fugitives wanted for prosecution for their involvement in the payment of €3.9 million as bribe from Airbus SE to some key Ghanaian public officials.

The payments were made between 2009 and 2015.

Mr Mahama has been charged with “accepting a bribe to influence a public officer” and “acting in collaboration with a Public Officer for the Public Officer’s Private Profit,” as set out in Sections 179C(b), 179D, and 252(1) of the Criminal Offences Act. 

Philip Sean Middlemiss, a UK television actor and film director, is also facing charges of “accepting a bribe to influence a public officer” and “acting in collaboration with a Public Officer for the Public Officer’s Private Profit”, as set out in Sections 179C(b), 179D, and 252(1) of the Criminal Offences Act. 

Sarah Furneaux is charged with “accepting a bribe to influence a public officer” and “acting in collaboration with a Public Officer for the Public Officer’s Private Profit,” as set out in Sections 179C(b), 179D, and 252(1) of the Criminal Offences Act. 

Sarah Leanne Davis, like the other suspects,is facing charges of “accepting a bribe to influence a public officer” and “acting in collaboration with a Public Officer for the Public Officer’s Private Profit,” as set out in Sections 179C (b), 179D, and 252(1) of the Criminal Offences Act. 

If convicted and found guilty, all four suspects could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Interpol, on Friday, July 10, issued a notice or arrest warrant on its website for law enforcement agencies around the world to locate and provisionally arrest the four persons, pending their extradition to Ghana.

The arrest warrant, also known as “Red Notice,” indicated that between 2009 and 2015, Airbus SE engaged Samuel Adam Mahama, brother of former President John Dramani Mahama, and Philip Sean Middlemiss to accept and pay €3.9 million as bribe to some Ghanaian public officials to approve the sale of three C-295 military aircraft to Ghana.

The notice said in an attempt to facilitate the payment of the bribe without any trace, Samuel Mahama, Philip Middlemiss, Sarah Leanne Davis and Sarah Furneaux incorporated a company known as Deedum Ltd. Ghana, Deedum Ltd. UK, and Furneaux Ltd UK to consult on behalf of AIRBUS SE.

“The suspects and their accomplices succeeded in using the companies and intermediaries to receive the bribe money from AIRBUS SE. Subsequently, the suspects and their accomplices paid bribes to key public officials to influence their decision to purchase three aircraft on behalf of Ghana,” it said.

According to the facts of the case, a total amount of €3.9 million was offered as bribe by the suspects and their accomplices to influence and induce public officials in Ghana in their decision making, which gave AIRBUS SE an overbearing and overriding advantage in the sale of the three aircraft to the Government of Ghana.

The investigations against the four suspects form part of a wider investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office, the French Parquet National Financier, the United States Department of Justice, and the US Department of State into global corruption by AIRBUS SE in the sale of its aircraft to six countries, including Ghana.

The outcome of the global investigation against AIRBUS SE resulted in the deferred prosecution agreement contained in the United Kingdom judgment, in Director of the Serious Fraud Office v AIRBUS SE (Case No. U20200108) and the United States of America judgement, in the case of United States of America v AIRBUS SE (Case No. 1:20-cr-00021 (TFH)) made on  January 31, 2020.

In Ghana, the Office of Special Prosecutor is collaborating with its UK counterparts to conduct a prompt inquiry to determine the complicity or otherwise of any Ghanaian government official, past or present, involved in the said scandal, and to take the necessary legal action against any such official, as required by Ghanaian law.

The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, has issued a public notice inviting the four persons to assist his outfit in the investigation of bribery and corruption of more than €5 million relating to the Airbus saga.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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