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British authorities reopen BAE fraud inquiry

de A. Comanciu     HotNews.ro
Luni, 10 decembrie 2007, 15:39 English | Regional Europe

The British Serious Fraud Office (SFO) will re-launch an investigation on presumed fraud at BAE Systems, the military industry giant. One of the contracts under investigation concerns the purchase of two used frigates by Romania. Authorized sources told The Times, quoted by Romanian monitoring agency Rador, that dozens of BAE directors will face hearings over the next two months regarding alleged bribes in the form of commissions amounting to over 80 million pounds.

However, company representatives denied all corruption allegations and insisted that the legislation was thoroughly respected.

The alleged bribes are presumed to have come from contracts with governments in South Africa, Tanzania and other two countries.

The contract involving Romania amounts to 116 million pounds paid for modernization works of two British frigates Romania bought in 2003. Rumors have it that an unidentified Romanian politician received a 6 million pounds commission once the contract was signed.

The SFO hearings come a year after ex-PM Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, prosecutor general at the time, controversially decided to put an end to a corruption inquiry involving BAE dealings in Saudi Arabia.























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