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UK raised EADS offshore payments concern in 2008-FT
LONDON Aug 18 (Reuters) - Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) had voiced concerns in 2008 about payments made by an EADS subsidiary into an offshore account, now part of a criminal probe into whether the firm paid bribes to Saudi Arabian officials, the Financial Times said on Saturday.
An executive at EADS subsidiary GPT Special Project Management said in an email seen by the newspaper that MoD officials in Saudia Arabia were unlikely to approve payments into a Cayman Islands account, which continued until at least 2010.
A government-to-government communications programme in Saudi Arabia, which the EADS subsidiary supplied equipment for, also involved Britain's MoD whose role included approving GPT's expenditures.
A report by the newspaper earlier this week said senior EADS executives were alerted five years ago about potential bribes to Saudi Arabian officials to win a communications contract.
GPT provides communications and intranet services for the Saudi National Guard, which protects the Kingdom's royal family.
Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has formally launched a criminal probe into allegations involving a $3.3 billion contract awarded to GPT Special Project Management.
The FT said that Britain's MoD was separately probing the allegations and passing on relevant material to the SFO.
A spokesperson for EADS declined to comment.
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