Rolls Royce’s Indian jet engine bribes

Introduction The multi-jurisdiction investigation into Rolls-Royce’s extensive history of paying bribes, prompted by a whistleblower’s allegations in 2012, included one major defense deal. According to investigations in India and the United Kingdom, the British engine-manufacturing company used a series of agents to secure a contract in India for trainer-aircraft jet engines. The GBP 200 million …

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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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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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The worldwide fake bomb detector scam

Introduction In the decade following the late-1990s, a network of intrepid fraudsters sold fake bomb detectors worth tens of millions of dollars to security services around the world, most notably Iraq, Thailand and Mexico. The fake bomb detectors, variously marketed as the ADE 651, GT200, Alpha Six, and, earlier, the MOLE Programmable Detection System, Quadro …

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The Indian VVIP helicopter deal

Introduction Corruption is a persistent problem in Indian arms procurement, on both a petty and a grand scale. In the case of the 12 VVIP (Very Very Important Person) transport helicopters bought from AgustaWestland in 2010, however, the result of the corruption was not just extra costs for the Indian taxpayer, but a helicopter unable …

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South Korea’s AW-159 helicopters

Introduction After a North Korean submarine sank the South Korean naval frigate ROKS Cheonan in March 2010, the Republic of Korea (ROK) navy decided it needed to improve its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities. The very next month, two of the navy’s existing Super Lynx helicopters, delivered by the British firm Westland in the 1990s, crashed …

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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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