Ericsson’s sale of radar systems to Greece

Introduction  The economic and fiscal crisis that struck Greece in 2009 has also led to widespread corruption investigations, unearthing vast corruption by politicians and others across Greek industry that is widely seen as one of the factors behind the crisis. The military sector is certainly no exception, and whistleblowers have suggested that virtually all arms …

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The Al Yamamah arms deals

Introduction The Al Yamamah series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia was, and remains, Britain’s biggest arms deal ever concluded, earning the prime contractor, BAE Systems , at least GBP 43 billion in revenue between 1985 and 2007, with further deals still ongoing. In 1985, the UK and Saudi governments signed an initial Memorandum of …

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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 to circumvent UN arms embargo, involving several senior French political figures to covertly supply arms to the Angolan government for use in its renewed war against UNITA rebels. Beyond the illegality of the arms sales …

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Nigeria’s Armsgate scandal

Introduction Most corruption in arms procurement takes the form of bribes or kickbacks. In return for being awarded an arms contract, often as a result of having selection criteria manipulated in its favour, the supplier company pays bribes to officials involved in the decision-making process. Payments typically are channeled through an in-country middleman or agent.

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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Tanzania’s air traffic control system

Introduction Of the many cases of alleged bribery that BAE Systems, the United Kingdom’s leading defense firm, was accused of over the last decades, only one survived political interference and finally made its way to a UK court. In 2001, the company had signed a contract with Tanzania to supply two ‘Watchman’ radar systems to …

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