Funding the Belgian Socialist parties

Introduction On July 18, 1991, the retired Belgian politician André Cools, an influential Socialist figure and former deputy prime minister, was shot to death by two assailants in the Cointe neighborhood of Liège. Through a series of confessions, the investigation into his death revealed two major arms procurement scandals involving the Flemish (Dutch-speaking) Socialistische Partij …

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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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Brazil’s DCNS submarine contract

Introduction Operation Car Wash (“Lava Jato”), the sprawling investigation into public-sector corruption that brought down Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, is also threatening to tarnish a submarine contract signed in 2009 with French state-controlled shipbuilder DCNS. In addition to agreeing to provide four Scorpène diesel-powered attack submarines, the French company committed to help the Brazilian military …

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Angolagate

Introduction The Angolagate scandal rocked the French political world when it came to light in 1999. It revealed a plot t, involving several senior French political figures to covertly supply arms to the Angolan government for use in its renewed war against UNITA rebels, circumventing an arms embargo. Beyond the illegality of the arms sales …

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Gripen combat aircraft sales to the Czech Republic and Hungary

Introduction Shortly after joining NATO in 1999, both the Czech Republic and Hungary started procurement processes to acquire new major combat aircraft to replace ageing Russian planes. In each case, the Gripen, produced jointly by Saab (Sweden) and BAE (UK), was selected over rival contenders, including the US F-16, believed to have been the favourite …

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L’Affaire Karachi

Introduction A car bomb explosion in Karachi, Pakistan, on May 8, 2002, killed fourteen people, including 11 French nationals, employees of the French state shipbuilder Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN, now DCNS), and exposed a major corruption scandal in France and Pakistan. The DCNS employees were working on the construction of 3 submarines ordered by …

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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, where it is difficult to compare prices in a meaningful way. Further for most countries, submarines offer little practical military use in the 21st Century security context. A stealthy, underwater vehicle, …

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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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Taiwan – The Lafayette Affair

Introduction In 1993, the body of a naval officer washed ashore in the small town of Suao, on the eastern edge of the island of Taiwan.[1] The resulting investigation led to the unraveling of a corruption scandal which continued for 19 years and implicated hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution. Yin Ching-fen, the officer …

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