Heckler & Koch’s G-36 Rifles in Mexico

Introduction Since the 1990s, German authorities had concerns that German small arms could be used to commit human rights violations in Mexico. As one of the world’s leading small arms manufacturers, however, Heckler & Koch (H&K) had a different fear: falling behind its American competitors in the Mexican market. To square this circle, H&K coached …

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The CDU Party Funding Scandal

Introduction The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party funding scandal, which erupted in 1999, tarnished the reputation of legendary Chancellor Helmut Kohl—the architect of reunification—and derailed the career of his likely successor, Wolfgang Schäuble. German investigators caught CDU officials taking payments from an agent acting for Thyssen-Henschel, the armored vehicles manufacturer, to promote sales to Saudi …

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Airbus Eurofighter Sales to Austria

Introduction Airbus’ checkered past has come under examination across a number of jurisdictions, but it may be one of the oldest allegations that brings down CEO Tom Enders. In 2003, Airbus’ defense group—headed up by Enders—sold eighteen Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to Austria. Since then, prosecutors, parliamentary investigators, and the media have gradually confirmed what …

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German Submarine Sales to Israel

Introduction Like most submarine sales in recent years, the planned sale by German shipbuilders ThyssenKrupp of three Dolphin-2 submarines to Israel, possibly intended to carry nuclear weapons, appears to have involved substantial bribes. In this case, the suspected recipients are close associates of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The sale was provisionally agreed late in …

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South Korea’s “Mr. German U-boat”

Introduction South Korea has been a consistent customer of Kiel-based Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), the German submarine manufacturer, for over thirty years, buying new boats from the shipyard in 1987, 1989, 1994, 2000, and 2008. In July 2015, South Korean investigators arrested Chung Eui-sung, the man responsible for brokering each of these deals and pocketing millions …

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The Greek Submarine Scandal

See also: The Portuguese submarine deal Introduction The Greek military has consistently enjoyed strong fiscal support from the central budget much to the envy of its NATO peers and the consternation of Athens’ creditors. Since the end of the Cold War, military expenditure has never dipped below 2.3% of GDP; in the 1990s it hovered …

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German Submarine Sales to Portugal

See also: The Greek Submarine Deal. Introduction Submarine sales seem to be particularly prone to bribery. They are complex, once-in-a-generation (for most countries) purchases. Prices are difficult to compare in a meaningful way. Further, submarines offer most countries little practical military use in the 21st century security context. A stealthy, underwater vehicle, they also seem …

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The South African Arms Deal

Introduction How did post-apartheid South Africa succumb to one of the most infamous and long-lasting corruption scandals in recent memory? The allegations, that leading politicians manipulated the procurement process for an arms deal worth USD 5 billion at the time in return for bribes of as much as USD 300 million from the seller companies, …

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