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 paid to close associates of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The sale was provisionally agreed late in 2016, against …

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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, while pocketing millions …

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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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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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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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The Malaysia Scorpene submarine affair

Introduction The EUR 1.2 billion sale of French ‘Scorpène’ submarines to Malaysia in 2002, and the dubious commissions which accompanied the sale, might have gone unnoticed were it not for the kidnap and murder of a young translator in 2006. The victim, who had worked for a key agent on the deal, was targeted when …

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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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