Agents from Colombia’s domestic intelligence and security service (Cuerpo Tecnico de Investigación - CTI) raided the offices of Avianca Holdings on February 12 as part of what prosecutors call a transnational bribery investigation launched last year, the business news site Finance Colombia reported.

According to the airline itself, the search and seizure of information relate to allegations that senior Avianca executives bribed government officials with Avianca Airlines tickets, upgrades, and discounts, which could be against the law in some countries it operates in.

“Today, the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia served Avianca with a search warrant of its offices with the objective of collecting information related to this investigation,” the group said in a statement.

“As has been its practice, Avianca has cooperated and will continue to cooperate with all pertinent authorities. Avianca will provide the information being requested to the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia while exercising its legal rights to ensure that its confidential and privileged information remains protected.”

Avianca has admitted that the business practice was unearthed by internal auditors in 2017 but was not disclosed until August 2019, after the former chief executive and board members were replaced.

In particular, it may have violated the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as it trades on the New York Stock Exchange, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray, which - as previously reported - has been hired by the group to investigate its role in the Airbus bribery scandal is also probing these potential violations of the law on behalf of Avianca Holdings, something which US Justice Department and the US Securities and Exchange Commission are aware of, The Wall Street Journal added.