The Airbus Group has instituted an internal probe after the defence ministry received an anonymous letter alleging tweaking of norms in finalising procurement of 14 twin-engine helicopters from the aerospace major for the Coast Guard, sources said.
The Airbus was the lowest bidder, and both the company and the government were nearing finalisation of the deal when the letter, believed to have been written by an employee of the aerospace company, surfaced around December last year, an official familiar with the issue said.
The sources said after the defence ministry received the letter accompanied by certain other documents, the Airbus on its own approached the government saying it was instituting an internal probe into the allegations.
"Airbus takes all whistleblower allegations seriously and conducts thorough probe to ascertain any breach of its code of ethics and compliance," an Airbus spokesperson said when asked about the issue.
The spokesperson said "the Airbus is engaged with the Coastguard and the Defence Ministry to fulfil the need for 14 twin-engine heavy helicopters following a campaign where it emerged as the lowest bidder by a very wide margin."
The defence ministry did not react to the issue.
There have been indications that the deal was to be sealed earlier this year but it could not be done because of surfacing of the allegations.
A media report today said that the government was alarmed after it received the letter which was accompanied by several classified documents.
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