back to article BAE cops to arms-deal violation, pays $400m US fine

UK-headquartered but nowadays US-centred arms globocorp BAE Systems has confessed to corporate wrongdoing and will pay hefty fines on both sides of the Atlantic. Most of today's revelations in the case are unsurprising - BAE has reportedly confessed to violations under US law with respect to aspects of the vast, highly …


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  1. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Double the Bribes?

    "Ex gratia payment for the benefit of the people of Tanzania."

    Isnt that how they go the work in the first place?

  2. DannyAston

    What a joke.

    Firms operating on the continent carry out this sort of practice daily, BAE was fined because they are British. Is this how we should treat a company that employs 106,000 staff?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward



      The fines were for:

      "wilfully misleading" US investigators over payments made as the firm tried to win contracts

      admitting accounting irregularities in a deal to sell an air traffic control system to Tanzania

      BAE is escaping the corruption allegations by paying a token fine.

    2. Nev Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      What are you suggesting, the larger the number of employees the more/worse criminal activities that a company should be allowed to get away with?

  3. Steen Hive

    Mad World

    When the kickbacks are the least horrifying part of the deals, yet are the most illegal.

  4. Mike Richards


    Any chance Tanzania will get its money back?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mike Richards

      I heard on R4 that money will go back to Tanzania. What they didn't say was how much will go. I don't expect it to be the full £30M - there's a huge black hole in public finances to fill - and banker bonuses to pay for.

  5. Throatwobbler Mangrove Silver badge


    "BAE was fined because they are British. "

    Complete and utter arseburgers.

    1) The UK is practically a foreign bribery prosecution free zone. DPP/SFO is miles behind German prosecutors, who in turn are light years behind the US DoJ.

    2) There is no US vendetta against British firms: Siemens, Lockheed, FIAT (New Holland) and IBM have all felt the back of the DoJ's hand recently.

    3) Is BAe really still British when capital is stateless and the US is a more important market?

    4) This prosecution is great news. We can expect more similar ones in the future.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    £30m to HMG is unlikely to cover their expenses

    Or rather the expenses the UK taxpayers spent through the SFO (and their case management system) to run this case.

    Not to mentione the substantial support you can bet Blair and his predecessor bunged them "Safeguard British jobs."

  7. raving angry loony

    Next contract please!

    So 600 million profit, 400 million fine. Next contract please! I can only wonder if they're going to claim the 400 million as an operating expense or as a straight tax writeoff?

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The banks?

    So the banks defraud us out of trillions and are given a bonus, BAE bribes some people to buy British goods and they pay a fine! Dont expect the Chinese to play by these rules!!!

  9. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Bent As Ever

    Danny Aston, you think companies that employ 106,000 should be above the law? Your payslip is showing.

    Funny how only Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith tried to defend this corruption in government, given their shared complicity over Iraq. Now that Tanzania has this out-of-date radar to retrospectively protect it from Idi Amins airforce, perhaps their airforce will expand it's formidable fleet of er, Cessnas?

  10. P Saunders

    Now about the South African arms deal

    So is BAE going to come clean about the bribes it paid to South African politicians? Guess the answer to that is no because the SA taxpayer is still paying for that one and the current regime is still baulking at an investigation.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yanks taking the piss

    The yanks have sold huge amounts of military and other hardware in middle eastern countries where everyone knows, no contracts are awarded without bribes. Bribes I have heard of being paid by a well known US company ranged from a straightforward and literal briefcase full of cash to sponsoring family members' to study at universities in the USA.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    corporate rights

    We give corporations all of the rights we bestow on human beings, yet when corporations do criminal wrong we slap them on the wrist. What would be the equivalent of BAE going to jail? How about taking away BAE's freedom to do business for 30 years? Sounds like an appropriate sentence for an individual arms dealer behaving in this manner. Oh, but we can't shut down BAE, they're too important. Another case of "too big to fail" digging us deeper into our hole.

    1. NightFox
      Thumb Down

      @AC 10:22: Corporate Rights

      ...thereby punishing the 100,000+ people employed by BAe, and the thousands of shareholders (and that includes indirect shareholders; people with pensions and unit trusts)?

    2. Grumpy Developer

      Partly right...

      I don't think that fining a corporation for this sort of behaviour has any deterrent effect. They are only fined a tiny proportion of their turnover, and then only if they are caught. The risk/reward balance seems to favour the briber rather than the honest business. The only way I see things being cleaned up is if those responsible for the decision - managers/directors - are made personally responsible and can face some serious jail time if they are found to have broken the law. Grenade 'cos it is BAE...

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