Monday, October 05, 2009

BAE - CORRUPT ARMS DEALERS?

BAE's £2.5 billion purchase of United Defense in 2005 added the M2/M3 Bradley family of armoured vehicles to its product line.


Allegedly, Britain's biggest manufacturing company, BAE Systems, is a bunch of corrupt arms dealers.

BAE is the world's second-largest defence contractor and the largest in Europe.[3].

Lockheed Martin is the world's largest defence contractor.

BAE has sold equipment to Indonesia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Zimbabwe.

BAE's US subsidiary makes several subsystems for F-16s, 236 of which have been supplied to the Israel Defense Forces.[100]

In September 2003 The Sunday Times reported that BAE had hired a private security contractor to collate information about individuals working at the Campaign Against Arms Trade and their activities.[101][102]

In February 2007, it again obtained private confidential information from CAAT.[103]


One of 24 Panavia Tornado ADVs delivered to the Royal Saudi Air Force as part of the Al Yamamah arms sales. (BAE Systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

On 2 October 2009, The Guardian, informed us about BAE Systems around the world.

From this we learn:

1. An Austrian, Count Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, from the early 90's, was BAE's secret middleman in the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary.

Reportedly, prosecutors have questioned him about an £11m payment which BAE made to him in connection with an aircraft deal.

They want to find out if the money was given to Czech politicians and officials.

A former Czech foreign minister, told undercover reporters that "money changed hands" with politicians there. He named two BAE executives.

2. In 2003, the Romanians paid BAE £116m in connection with two surplus British frigates.

A Romanian admiral has said his country could have bought similar warships from the Dutch for less than half the price.

The Serious Fraud Office investigated payments of £7m from BAE to a British middleman, Barry George who is married to a Romanian with close connections to the former communist regime.

3. In 1999, South Africa's ANC government spent £1.6bn buying fleets of Hawk and Gripen warplanes.

The Hawk was said to be twice the price of an Italian competitor.

A leaked Serious Fraud Office dossier alleged secret payments by BAE totalled more than £100m.

The dossier accused BAE of a corrupt relationship with Berkshire arms dealer John Bredenkamp.

Bredenkamp, according to one former BAE executive, "suggested identifying the key decision-makers, with a view to 'financially incentivising them' to make the right decision".

Joe Modise was the defence minister who handed the contract to BAE.

The dossier outlined millions of pounds paid to an aide to Modise, through secret offshore channels.

4. Tanzania took out a loan to buy a £28m military radar system in 2001.

BAE is alleged to have paid £9m in bribes to secure the contract.

Tony Blair pushed the deal through.

A Tanzanian middleman, Sailesh Vithlani, is alleged to have been sent the payment to his Swiss account via a BAE front company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

In 2008, Andrew Chenge, a Tanzanian minister, was forced to resign last after the Guardian revealed that investigators had discovered more than £ 500,000 in his Jersey offshore accounts.

Prince Bandar

According to Wikipedia, Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar helped negotiate the 1985 Al Yamamah deal, a series of massive arms sales by the United Kingdom to Saudi Arabia worth GB£40 billion (US$80 billion), including the sale of more than 100 warplanes.

After the deal was signed, British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) allegedly funnelled secret payments of at least GB£1 billion (US$2 billion) into two Saudi embassy accounts in Washington, in yearly instalments of up to GB£120 million (US$240 million) over at least 10 years.

Bandar allegedly took money for personal use out of the accounts, as the purpose of one of the accounts was to pay the operating expenses of the prince's private Airbus A340.

Bandar's US mansion

From P II: An American Pinay Circle, we learn:

"The early 1970s also brought Saudis recruited by the CIA to train at American military bases, including Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

"Bandar has long been an ally, if not an asset, of the CIA."

Bandar was Saudi Ambassador to the USA.

"Between April 1998 and May 2002, some $51-73,000 in checks and cashier's checks were provided by the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and his wife to two families in southern California, who in turn bankrolled at least two of the 9/11 hijackers." (Prince Bandar and 9/11)

Thatchers. (http://www.smh.com.au/storyrhs)

The Guardian, (http://politics.guardian.l) tells us about Thatcher and BAE.

After Margaret Thatcher signed the al-Yamamah arms deal with Saudi Arabia, her son Mark Thatcher "was alleged, based on transcripts of telephone conversations between Saudi princes and agents, to have enjoyed £12m in commissions."

According to Samuel Brittan (http://www.samuelbrittan.co.uk/text29_p.html):

"The argument that jobs derived from exporting weapons cannot be replaced is akin to the argument for keeping open uneconomic coal mines for the sake of employment.

"People change jobs constantly. 'It is almost certainly easier for arms workers, many of whom have a wide range of valued skills, to find new jobs than it was for miners, whose training was far more specific.'

"Defence exports", measured by orders rather than sales, are worth around £5-6 billion a year or a little over 0.5 per cent of GDP. The number of workers employed is 130,000.

A cut of one-third would eliminate the most dubious items. This would mean a loss of 0.167 per cent of GDP or just over 40,000 jobs.

If British arms exports were cut by £1 billion or £2 billion a year, the cost could be a small deterioration in the terms of exchange between British exports and imports from overseas amounting to around 0.25 per cent of GDP.

But arms sales are so heavily supported by the taxpayer that there might actually be a gain in moving the workers, plant and technical skills to other activities that could pay for themselves.

The drive for arms sales distorts the design and production plans of British manufacturers and, in the view of some defence economists, offsets the savings in overheads.

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