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Digest Article Search
Page 5 of 23
Eurofighter 'stands ready' to renegotiate MMRCA bid with India
Copyright: Jane's, 12th March, 2012
The nations of Eurofighter Consortium have submitted a new bid to India, following the country’s recent decision to procure Dassault’s Rafale instead of Eurofighter Typhoon jets. The new bid relies on a more attractive offset package to try to sway the government’s decision. Currently, India’s procurement is expected to be about USD 13.5 million, with half of it requested as an offset contract of Dassault.
Pakistani military refuses to help probe corruption allegations
Copyright: Gulf Times, 11th March, 2012
The military in Pakistan has refused a request from the country’s National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to share details of a multi-billion rupee scandal involving three former generals and the state-owned and army-run National Logistic Cell (NLC). It is widely believed that the military’s non-participation will signal the end of the inquiry.
Belfast tycoon paid £80,000 in bribes to MoD pair
Copyright: Belfast Telegraph, 10th March, 2012
James Daniel McGeown, a Belfast business tycoon, is accused of having paid more than £80,000 (USD 127,000) of bribes to two Ministry of Defence officials. The businessman has already pleaded guilty to 16 charges of corruption. Reportedly, the corruption case does not involve extra cost to the tax payers, due to the lack of any fraudulent contracts. McGeown paid for insiders’ information benefiting the company he owned in the period of the offences (1998-2004), VIS Securities Solutions. The company paid two Irish Ministry of Defence officials, William Ronnie Marks and John Symington, £66,500 (USD 105,000) and £18,000 (USD 28,000) respectively for “insider information”. The prosecution is asking the court to order payments of £1 million (USD 1.6 million) from McGeown and any monies received plus interest from Marks and Symington.
Israel Inspector suspected of accepting bribes for approving substandard bomb shelters
Copyright: Ha'aretz, 9th March, 2012
An investigation into bomb shelters in the Southern Israeli city of Ashdod found that some were sub-standard, and would fail to prevent bodily harm in case of an attack. The contractor in charge of building the bomb shelters allegedly paid bribes to the Israeli Defence Forces inspector so that he would approve the shelters. The contractor has been arrested and the case will now go to a military criminal investigator.
U.S. Army Corps Bribe Suspect Agrees to Plead Guilty in Kickback Scheme
Copyright: Bloomberg, 8th March, 2012
The former director of contracts for Eyak Technology, Harold Babb, agreed to plead guilty to one charge of bribery and one charge of unlawful kickbacks, as part of a USD 20 million false billing scheme against the US Army Corp of Engineers. The prosecutors alleged that the company’s “Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity, or IDIQ, contract with the Army Corps allowed Babb to steer work to a subcontractor who would inflate invoices.”
Military Site Investigated over ‘Tetris Scandal’
Copyright: Ria Novosti, 6th March, 2012
A large-scale fraud case has been opened by Russian prosecutors over a costly update of the Russian military’s website. The domain has been endowed with Tetris, instead of state-of-art patriotic shooter games which were the intention of army leaders. The Military Prosecutor General’s Office has reported that the project was initially overpriced and was never completed, and probably is a result of large-scale corruption and fraud. The charges of large-scale fraud are punishable with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to 1 million roubles.
Read full article: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120306/171793417.html
EADS arms faces damages claim on Saudi work
Copyright: Financial Times (£), 6th March, 2012
GPT Special Project Management, a subsidiary of the pan-European defence group EADS that is the prime contractor on a communications system project in Saudi Arabia, is facing damage claims by one of its subcontractors. The claims are the result of GPT terminating the subcontract due to bribery allegations. According to the Financial Times, the allegations were made last year, but EADS has refused to disclose the identity of the subcontractor, or the legal consequences of the damage claim.
India blacklists firm due to bribery
Copyright: AFP, 5th March, 2012
The Indian military has decided to black list six armament firms for 10 years each for their role in a 2009 bribery scandal. Companies from Singapore, Switzerland, Israel and Russia were all barred from applying for any defence contracts in India. All the companies were sent detailed notices with the specific reasons why they were barred.
Brazil Arms Exports: Country Preaches Peace, Sells Tons Of Arms
Copyright: Huffington Post, 28th February, 2012
Despite the fact that Brazil is the fourth biggest exporter of small arms in the world, there are no clear numbers for Brazilian exports of small arms, according to this investigation into the Brazilian small arms trade. The investigation explores the country’s ventures into the sector, including their allegedly suspicious tear gas production.
Read full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/28/brazil-arms-exports_n_1295083.html
News Corp and the FCPA paradox
Copyright: Reuters TrustLaw, 27th February, 2012
An apparent “double standard” on FCPA prosecutions is unveiled in this opinion piece. A federal judge sentenced the former CEO of defence company KBR Inc. to prison for his role in a USD 182 million bribery scheme to Nigerian officials in order to secure USD 6 billion in military contracts; the next day, charges against more than 20 defendants willing to pay bribes to Gabon officials over supposed military contracts were dismissed.
Rooting out corruption in the Afghan army
Copyright: Army Times, 16th February, 2012
Anti-corruption units in the country have removed more than 30 Afghan officials and convicted 50 contractors linked to corruption in the past year. The Combined Joint Interagency Task Force Shafafiyat (“Transparency”), headed by Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, worked with Afghan leaders to counter the growing threat of corruption within the Afghan armed forces.
How corruption may hamper peacebuilding – the case of South Sudan
Copyright: ISS Africa, 15th February, 2012
The importance of the nexus between corruption and peacebuilding can be seen recently in South Sudan. In January its parliament met to discuss the Auditor General’s announcement that USD 1.3 billion were unaccounted for during the 2005-2006 budget period (while still under the transitional government). This article discusses the potential lessons from African post- conflict states on the effect corruption can have on peacebuilding efforts, a nexus which is characterised by the tension between the short and long-term impacts of corruption.
Read full article: http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1430
Former German minister jailed for fraud
Copyright: Reuters, 9th February, 2012
Former Junior Defence Minister Ludwig-Holger Pfahls has been charged with four and a half years in jail for hiding more than £4.2 million (USD 6.6 million) in order to avoid paying fines due to a previous conviction. Pfahls has admitted accepting millions of deutsch marks from an arms dealer to facilitate the delivery of armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia. The German lobbyist Dieter Holzer has received three and a half years in jail for helping Pfahls.
China launches corruption investigation
Copyright: Want China Times, 2nd February, 2012
A senior official in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was detained by authorities over allegations that he took part in illicit activities. Lieutenant General GU Junshan, deputy chief of the PLA’s General Logistics Department, has subsequently been dismissed for his indiscretions. It has been reported that General Liu Yuan, political commissar of the department, and a vocal supporter of countering corruption within the armed forces, played a key role in initiating the investigation.
Mistrial declared in landmark bribery sting case
Copyright: Wall Street Journal, 31st January, 2012
A federal judge in Washington declared a mistrial in a foreign bribery case against businessmen who were charged in an elaborate Federal Bureau of Investigation sting involving the sale of arms and military equipment to Gabon. The mistrial ruling came one day after the jury acquitted two of the other defendants in the case. The ruling is a major setback for the Department of Justice, which had touted the case – the first to make large-scale use of undercover tactics — as a “turning point” in its fight against foreign corruption.
Naval modernisation: A sea change for Indonesia?
Copyright: The Nation, 30th January, 2012
Indonesia has been engaged in naval capabilities modernisation in its defence sector. The country is aiming at higher warships procurement facilitated by a reformed fiscal climate. The challenges Indonesia faces lay in the lack of a comprehensive defence strategy, standardisation issues due to the operation of 173 main weapon systems from 17 different countries, and severe corruption in the defence sector. Former Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono has acknowledged that up to 40 per cent of procurement deals might have been subjected to corruption and bribery.
Corruption in Iraq: ‘Your son is being tortured. He will die if you don’t pay’
Copyright: The Guardian, 16th January, 2012
This article describes the depth of corruption in the security services in Iraq. Iraqis are arrested on false charges “routinely,” and held—and tortured—until their families pay bribes to state security officers. These officers are not in their positions, for the most part, due to their performance, but because they have bought off local politicians, who, in turn, extort bribes from those officers below them. An officer explained the process: “The commander of the district buys his post from the politicians or the office of the commander-in-chief. Then the commander rents the post of interrogation officer to his juniors for USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 per month […] Then you get your money back from the detainee.”
Read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/16/corruption-iraq-son-tortured-pay
Back to the Barracks: the Tunisian Army Post-Revolution
Copyright: Sada, Carnegie Endowment, 3rd November, 2011
This article analyses the role of the Tunisian Army following the fall of the Ben Ali regime and recent elections. The Army in Tunisia has historically been marginalised, particularly compared to the Egyptian Army, which has had a significant impact on the post-revolution transition. The military did not seek to take control during the turbulence of the revolution. The Army’s current positive reputation is also helped by the fact that it is not seen by the public to be as corrupt as the security services and judiciary, which were seen as arms of the repressive Ben Ali regime. “The army has limited its role to providing security and protected citizens from the security vacuum that ensued when people fled their posts,” the article states, and “the ministry of defense has stated repeatedly that its objective was to secure a civil democratic process and not to impose military rule.”
Pakistan: Dodgy dealings: Corruption taints 88 armed forces officials
Copyright: The Express Tribune, 3rd November, 2011
A report from the defence ministry has unearthed the alleged involvement of 88 armed forces officials in corruption. According to the report, four officials from General Headquarters (GHQ) are involved in corruption – while 21 employees from the army are involved in financial irregularities related to military lands and cantonments. Faking documents, embezzlement, and mobile phone smuggling are some of the examples. This comes on the back of a report by the Public Accounts Committee that implicates three army generals as being responsible for Rs1.8 billion (around £13,000) losses in the National Logistics Cell (NLC) scam.
SEC launches corruption probe into Embraer
Copyright: Financial Times (£), 3rd November, 2011
Embraer, the world’s third-largest commercial aircraft producer, said it is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for corruption, casting doubt over one of Brazil’s top companies.
Copyright: Willamette Week, 2nd November, 2011
An Oregon businessman and former Army medic, owner of Skedco, a company which produces an emergency stretcher that has carried countless wounded soldiers from battlefields around the world, has been linked to a bribery case and risks losing his biggest customer: the US military. Court documents show Skedco paid USD 365,000 to a U.S. Defense Department official “in return for increasing the amount of federal contracts” it received. Although nobody in the company has been charged with any crime, a defence official is doing time in a federal prison in Englewood, Colo., after a jury convicted him of 35 counts of bribery, extortion and accepting illegal gratuities.
Read full article: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-18160-war_bribes.html
Met officers 'received £20,000 bribes from private detectives'
Copyright: The Evening Standard, 31st October, 2011
Anti-corruption detectives have launched a probe into allegations that serving Met officers were paid by private investigators working for an international politician. Documents allege a London-based private detective agency paid Met officers £20,000 for inside information that helped his defence lawyers.
President Zuma appoints Judge to probe arms deal
Copyright: Los Angeles Times, 28th October, 2011
President Zuma has appointed Justice Seriti to head a two-year commission into a 1999 arms deal, the biggest contract in the country’s history. Claims of bribery surround the deal, which involved the purchase of jets and naval vessels from several companies including BAE Systems and Thales. Zuma himself faced charges related to the deal, which were dropped in 2009.
Billions in Iraqi reconstruction money finally accounted for
Copyright: Los Angeles Times, 28th October, 2011
An audit by the federal government has finally determined where most of the USD 6.6 billion lost after being flown, as shrink-wrapped USD 100 bills, into post-invasion Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Investigators were given access to the records of the Central Bank of Iraq and the U.S. Federal Reserve, and found that “almost all” of the money was transferred to the hands of Iraqi authorities. Yet major gaps remain: USD 217 million delivered to Defence officials from U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority-controlled funds is still unaccounted for, as well as USD 2.8 billion that the Iraqis gave to Defense officials for reconstruction projects. The audit also found that, in violation of Iraqi regulations, USD 150 million was handed over to the Iraqi finance minister at the Baghdad airport, in cash.
Read full article: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/28/world/la-fg-iraq-billions-20111028
Where is Gaddafi's vast arms stockpile?
Copyright: The Guardian, 26th October, 2011
Andrew Feinstein’s opinion piece explores what will happen with Gaddafi's “enormous collection of military hardware during his decades in power” and stresses 3 reasons why Gaddafi’s Lybia reflect what is wrong with the global arms trade. “First, if Gaddafi's demise is not followed by democracy but, instead, by in-fighting, those who would wage war for control will have a seemingly limitless supply of weapons to do so. The experience of Iraq and Afghanistan illustrates, although in different circumstances, how the overthrow of a tyrant can beget a long-running insurgency or civil war. Second, even if the resistance movement in Libya results in a peaceful democracy, the country will have to deal with the rotting stockpiles. And last, but not least, there is the deep and abiding fear that, in the aftermath of chaos, Gaddafi's stockpile of conventional and biological weapons and explosives (including 10 tonnes of mustard gas and 1,000 tonnes of uranium) may enter the region's black market, falling into the hands of the very people who would threaten some of Gaddafi's most important suppliers: the west.”
Read full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/26/gadaffis-arms-stockpile
Egypt: Draft 'Political Corruption' Law Invites Abuse - Proposal Violates International Standards
Copyright: All Africa, 26th October, 2011
Cabinet proposals to amend and implement Egypt's 1952 "Law on Political Treachery" have negative implications for the country's political freedoms and upcoming election, Human Rights Watch has said. The military is studying the draft law, renamed "The Political Corruption Law”, which would allow the authorities to imprison anyone convicted of vaguely defined crimes of "political corruption" and to deprive them of the right to vote or run for office. Such a law would set the stage for mass political exclusion based on vague allegations of association rather than criminal responsibility, Human Rights Watch said. The overly broad provisions would also invite arbitrary restrictions by future governments on legitimate peaceful political activity.
Read full article: http://allafrica.com/stories/201110270183.html
Arab Spring Abuses Show Need for Arms Trade Curb: Amnesty
Copyright: Reuters/New York Times, 18th October, 2011
Russia, the United States and European countries ignored fears over human rights abuses and sold large numbers of weapons to governments in the Middle East and North Africa in recent years, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The NGO said the failings showed the need for a meaningful international arms trade treaty to choke off the supply of weapons to countries seen at risk of turning them on their own people.
Liam Fox: Official report by Cabinet Secretary in full
Copyright: BBC, 18th October, 2011
Although no corruption has been found so far in the Fox-Werrity scandal, the report by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell sheds a light in the breach of the MOD’s code of conduct by Fox and other grey areas from the case: “Dr Fox has already accepted that his actions and judgement fell short of the standards of conduct required in the Ministerial Code and the evidence in this report supports the conclusion of a clear breach of the Ministerial Code. He should have declared to his Permanent Secretary that Mr Werritty was a friend who had a company, Pargav, which was funded by a number of donors, some of whom had provided funding to Dr Fox when in Opposition.”
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-15358660
South Africa’s DOD assets are worth R76.9 billion, but no proof
Copyright: DefenceWeb, 17th October, 2011
The South African DOD has declared that its assets are worth R76.9 billion (around £540 billion, though the Auditor General has suggested that there is insufficient audit evidence to back this up. Although the DOD has developed a ‘rectification’ plan, the Auditor General has suggested that there are ‘shortcomings’ in the past year’s efforts to better account for serial controlled items.
Taiwanese Frigate Scandal Resurfaces
Copyright: Asia Sentinel, 17th October, 2011
The Asia Sentinel reports on the Taiwanese government's USD 98.4 million lawsuit against the French state-owned DCNS over a long-running frigates corruption case. The purchase of these six frigates in 1991 has been marked by earlier allegations of massive corruption and demands for fines against the French shipbuilder for USD 950 million. The Asia Sentinel states Taiwan’s Defence Minister Kao Hua-chun said additional kickbacks prohibited by a 1996 order agreement have been found relating to supplying parts for the frigates.