Following an internal inquiry after allegations over corruption from Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), AirAsia executives Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun have been cleared of wrongdoing over the sponsorship of a sports team and the influence in the purchase of Airbus aircraft.
According to the findings of BDO Governance Advisory Sdn. Berhad, it found AirAsia's sponsorship of the now defunct Catarham Formula 1 – formerly owned by AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and Chairman Kamarudin Meranun – was approved by the airline and its procedures.
The focus of the inquiry was the sponsorship worth USD $50 million from Airbus for Catarham Formula 1. The inquiry found that it was disclosed and fully supported by AirAsia Group's Board of Directors and there was no link to aircraft purchases found.
With the involvement of Airbus and AirAsia being a prominent customer of the aircraft manufacturer, the report found that Fernandes and Meranun properly disclosed their interests, and abstained from the discussion and decisions of the sponsorship.
The allegations came about following a USD $4 billion settlement that Airbus agreed with France, Britain and the United States which found the European aircraft manufacturer bribed public officials and made hidden payments to secure aircraft orders around the world.
With the findings, AirAsia has reinstated Fernandes and Meranun who serve as executive director/group CEO and executive chairman respectively.