Germany to investigate inflated bills case in new Berlin airport construction

Germany has initiated an investigation into an alleged fraud by Siemens, Bosch and Deutsche Telekom unit T-Systems regarding their work at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER).

The three companies are suspected to have submitted inflated bills to the consortium responsible for the construction of the airport.

Top executives of the consortium are said to have paid the bills without asking many questions, reported the regional newspaper Bill am Sonntag.

Siemens and T-System are said to have received around 96% and 99% of their claims made until 2012. The former claimed around $25m.

The anti-corruption unit of the consortium responsible for the third airport is said to have launched an investigation into large payments to the three.

While Bosch and T-Systems refused to comment on the allegations, an unnamed spokesperson of Siemens told the DPA news agency: "We cannot completely rule out wrongdoing by individuals but if there are indications that the law and internal guidelines were violated we will decisively investigate this in cooperation with the relevant authorities."

The airport, currently under construction, has been plagued by delays. Originally planned to be opened in 2010, the airport has experienced several delays due reasons ranging from poor construction planning, management, and execution to corruption.

Operations at the airport are expected to commence in late 2017. The airport's current costs are estimated to be around €5.4bn ($5.9bn), up by an additional €2.19bn from the original estimates.

Once completed, the airport located near the Berlin Schönefeld Airport in Schönefeld is expected to become the third busiest airport in Germany.