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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Airbus, the Saudi National Guard, and a Whistleblower’s Dramatic Escape

Introduction  If the bribery that is alleged to have taken place in the GBP 2 billion deal won by GPT Special Project Management to supply communications equipment to the Saudi Arabian National Guard (the SANGCOM deal) is fairly routine, the story of how it came to light is not. In 2010, a GPT Programme Director …

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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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Embraer’s Dominican and Indian Bribery Schemes

Introduction Brazilian company Embraer is best known as a leading producer of regional civil aircraft, but also builds and successfully exports military trainer/light combat and surveillance planes. The company’s global presence includes a U.S. subsidiary and the licensed production of the Embraer Super Tucano in the United States, from where sales are made to the …

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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 Understanding, …

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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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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 favor, the supplier company pays bribes to officials involved in the decision-making process. Payments typically are channeled through an in-country middleman or agent. …

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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. 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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