BAE accused of using secret slush fund to support Saudi defe

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by easesprings, Oct 5, 2004.

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  1. How many more tiems are we going to be crewed by this Company before we do something about it: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

    The Financial Times reports that Britain's largest defence company will find itself today at the centre of fresh allegations that it used a secret slush fund worth millions to support a multi-billion pound deal with Saudi Arabia. An investigation to be screened tonight by BBC2's Money Programme will make a number of allegations about how BAE serviced the Al Yamamah deal, the UK's biggest defence deal. Over the lifetime of the two contracts covered by the deal, they are reckoned to be worth about £50bn to BAE. BAE spokesman said yesterday: "BAE Systems rigorously obeys the laws of the UK and other countries it operates in. It vigorously rejects allegations of wrongdoing." Last week the MoD police fraud squad said it had arrested a man "on suspicion of committing offences under the prevention of corruption acts whilst in the employment of the MoD's Saudi Armed Forces Project Office". The man was released on police bail the same day "pending further investigation". The London-based Saudi Armed Forces Project Office is adepartment of the Defence Export Services Organisation, the MoD's defence exports unit

    Here's the link:
  2. Went to a meeting today (wholly unconnected to this strory) at the BAe HQ; I'd previously emailed the Guardian's story to a few other bodies attending. Sadly, the chairman failed to take up my emailed suggestion that attendees should be bunged an appropriate amount. The mean barsterds even failed to provide choccy biccies, and the coffee was vile.
    Bloody crabs.
  3. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    Where do you think Thatcher's offspring got its money from?
  4. Helping mercs knock over Bongoland dictatorships? Winning desert rallies? Pocket money from his mum? Robbing her handbag?
  5. Shall we be realistic here ? No money to senior Saudis means no contract. No contract means no work. No work means big redundancies. Big redundancies means loss of votes for current adminstration.

    Tell me again why we should be surprised ? And (especially if your job depends on the contract) outraged at keeping British workers employed ?
  6. The amusing thing is that all of the evidence I saw presented related to hospitality offered after the deal was signed (barring some sweeteners to smooth the passage of visas through the Saudi Embassy). Shurely that's just Customer Relationship Management?

    All of the "World-in-Action-hidden-camera" shots of buildings in London was pretentious and irritating too. I mean, this all happened a decade ago, why the "we're having to film this secretly"-style shots, when they patently didn't?

    Am I alone in thinking that the BBC went out looking for a really meaty corruption story, couldn't get the evidence to back up what they were looking for (presumably "we bought a Prince of Saud to get the deal"), and then had to go with what they'd got - only dressed up to look as if it was some wonderful investigative report?
  7. Not so, OotS; the Al Yamamah contracts had already been signed. This was about letting the work run smoothly (or as smoothly as possible), allowing the working and living conditions of British expatriates be as desirable as necessary to retain workers, keeping senior managers in place and not burgering them about 100% of the time (95% would do), and holding the threat of US, or (God save us) French competitors' future contracts and products over their heads. Understandable but hardly defensible. Unfortunately, although a company can state that it will never, ever indulge in buckshee, if it doesn't do so to some degree or other it frequently simply loses the prospect of any future business. Principle is all very well, but profit makes a good argument too, and a one-way ticket back to London while some French or German git picks up the rupees is a strong motivator. Finding a morally-acceptable median is the trick; I think I've managed at most of the locations I've worked at after leaving the Army in the last decade, but sometimes t's been difficult to get them to understand!