GULF Air has slapped a gag on all staff over a police probe into alleged financial irregularities at the airline.
But it confirmed last night that it was helping with police inquiries following the arrest and questioning of a senior airline official.
Gulf Air chairman Mahmood Kooheji told the GDN last night the airline was co-operating with a criminal investigation.
In-flight services head Michael Kent was arrested last Thursday and released 24 hours later, after being questioned by the Public Prosecution.
He has not been charged but has been banned from leaving the country, while inquiries continue, said sources.
Investigators from UK-based forensic auditing specialists Kroll are also understood to be going through Gulf Air's books with a "fine toothcomb".
Mr Kooheji confirmed that a police inquiry was underway, but would not give details.
He had refused to comment when the GDN first contacted him following Mr Kent's release.
"Two days ago, I said 'no comment'. I should have said we are co-operating with the authorities but I said 'no comment' because I know it is a delicate situation," Mr Kooheji said last night.
"With the Michael Kent case there is a criminal investigation from the Public Prosecutor and we have been advised not to make any comment or talk about the case.
"This is a criminal investigation. Nobody in Gulf Air will answer you because I passed the message yesterday and said 'guys this is a public prosecution investigation, I want everybody to shut up'.
"The authorities are dealing with something and we don't want to meddle with that. I don't want to be in contempt of court or contempt of anything else - it is a very delicate area.
"You will find I have passed the same message to my colleagues in the company. I said guys, please be careful, once this is out of their hands we can talk about it.
"I can talk now and say a lot of things and maybe people would take me as a hero, but it is not the time. I would like to be more forward, but please try to understand."
Mr Kent was arrested at his office as he prepared to attend a farewell party in his honour ahead of his pending departure for his native Australia, having already resigned.
He had been at Gulf Air since 2002.
Mr Kent told the GDN on Sunday that he and his team were innocent of any wrong-doing.
"I know without question that I and my team are completely innocent of these accusations," he said.
"We know there is no validation in these charges whatsoever and that will be proven in the due course of time.
"It is certainly not anything that can't be demonstrated with the due course of a paperwork trail and analysis by the right people," he said.
It is understood that police raided Mr Kent's flat and took away property including a computer.
The first word of a major inquiry into Gulf Air's finances, following disastrous losses, was discussed in parliament two months ago.
Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa told MPs that officials were going through the airline's books with a fine toothcomb.
"National company Mumtalakat officials are currently studying every paper and if any violation is found, then those involved will be summoned to the Public Prosecution," he said at the time.
Kroll officials in the UK would not comment last night.