The United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has arrested an individual after launching a criminal investigation into AOG Technics, the British supplier that is allegedly linked to the fake parts aviation scandal.
The SFO announced on December 6, 2023, that a dawn raid was carried out at an address in Greater London alongside officers from the National Crime Agency (NGA) and material was seized.
The arrest and raid on the property represents an escalation in the AOG Technics fake parts scandal that has largely been constrained to airlines and engine manufacturers sporadically announcing which carriers have been affected.
“This investigation deals with very serious allegations of fraud involving the supply of aircraft parts, the consequences of which are potentially far reaching. The SFO is best placed to take this investigation forward vigorously and we are determined to establish the facts as swiftly as possible,” Nick Ephgrave QPM, Director of the Serious Fraud Office, said.
Ryanair was the most recent airline to confirm that it has found unauthorized parts in two of its aircraft engines.
The engines of concern that AOG Technics is said to have supplied parts for are the CFM56, used in older-generation Airbus SE A320 and Boeing 737 planes, and CF6, used on cargo aircraft.
On September 7, 2023, a lawsuit against AOG Technics was filed in the UK by CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric and Safran SA, that make the CFM56 and CF6 engines.
On September 20, 2023, at the High Court in London CFM International successfully argued for AOG Technics to release documents showing sales of any CFM56 and CF6 parts.
According to the SFO, the parts were mostly sold to overseas companies that install airline parts, as well as some UK airlines, maintenance providers and parts suppliers.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued alerts earlier this year to aviation businesses who may have bought or installed AOG’s parts and continue to manage the safety implications involved.
AeroTime has identified eight airlines that have publicly confirmed that they have been impacted by AOG practices, namely Delta Air Lines, WestJet, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, TAP, Virgin Australia Airlines and now Ryanair.
The SFO said it is working closely with the CAA and other regulators to examine the information obtained as it advances its criminal investigation into suspected fraud at this firm and determines whether there are grounds for prosecution.
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