Tuesday, December 21, 2010

BAE tanzanian deal corrupt

Mr Justice Bean told Southwark crown court that it appeared that BAE had paid "whatever was necessary to whomever it was necessary" to get the Tanzanian contract. He added that it appeared that the payments were disguised so that BAE "would have no fingerprints on the money". "They just wanted the job done – hear no evil, see no evil," . He said: "I have to establish what has happened. If there is no money to be used for corrupt practices, why is 97% of it paid through a BVI company controlled by BAE to another [offshore] company controlled by Vithlani?"

In February, BAE struck the plea deal with the SFO and American prosecutors to end years of corruption investigations into its business methods. The arms giant agreed to pay £3 m in corporate penalties in return for admitting accounting irregularities over a radar contract with Tanzania. Vithlani had been recorded in its books as performing "technical services", but he had no knowledge of any technical matters. Anti-corruption campaigners have argued that the deal is too lenient and cosy.

Richard Evans, BAE's chairman, had "personally approved" the use of a businessman, Sailesh Vithlani, as its "covert" agent to secure the Tanzanian radar contract. Approval was also given by Mike Turner, then a board member who later became BAE's chief executive. Temple said BAE paid $12.4m (£7.7m) to Vithlani between 2000 and 2005 – around a third of the radar contract's value. BAE had paid much of this money through its front company based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), known as Red Diamond, to a Panama-based company controlled by Vithlani.

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