An article in today’s issue of The Guardian quotes a Romanian admiral who says the Romanian state paid three times the price for the two second-hand frigates it procured from British company BAE Systems several years ago, which are now at the center of a „secret commissions” scandal.

Admiral Victor Blidea, who at the time of the transaction haw head commander for Navy operations in Romania, says the Dutch Navy had offered the Romanian state new frigates in a considerably better condition than the British ones. The price of the offer was 40 million pounds – almost three times less than the 116 million pounds the Romanian state eventually brought from Britain.

And according to Dumitru Costin, head of a influential trade union in Romania, Bucharest will have to pay over half a billion pounds for the modernization of the two frigates in the coming years.

The two frigates were initially launched in 1984 and 1986 respectively, to be withdrawn in 1998 and 2002 respectively before they were sold to Romania.