It has been a long time since I have blogged on the Eurofighter project. Remember when the Serious Fraud Office investigation of BAE and its contract with Saudi Arabia for Typhoons was stopped dead in its tracks? Well while I was paying attention to more local news, it seems that case moved forward and has reached a possible conclusion. Though the tale it seems has grown more tangled.
We have an Austrian count with a castle who had to post bond and not leave London. It seems he greased palms in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and his home country of Austria to sell them SAAB JAS.39 Gripens, of which BAE has a stake in.
Then there is an advanced air traffic control radar that was supposed to be sold to Tanzania. But it was never delivered and the BAE adviser in Tanzania pocketed 8 million British Pounds. This is the only charge BAE plead guilty to in the UK with the Serious Fraud Office. It cost the SFO about 5 million to prosecute this case, they may see 2 million in return. The rest of the 30 million will be returned to Tanzania.
The biggest fine though is supposed to be paid to the US Department of Defense because of BAE efforts to conceal information and transactions through the use of off shore shell companies. The fine levied by the US on BAE is 256 million Pounds. But by sheer happenstance a BAE pension fund in the US has experienced a one time windfall of 261 million Pounds which will nicely cover the fine.
Things like this is why reality is always stranger than fiction. Reality does not have to follow rules of believability least the reader exclaim that can't happen. Something or various things still stink about the various schemes BAE has engaged in. One hopes more will come to light and those who have done wrong are punished.