back to article Saab fingers BAE over South African fighter deal

UK-headquartered arms globocorp BAE Systems is back in the spotlight over allegedly corrupt business practices after its partner Saab announced that it had submitted documents to the Swedish national anti-corruption prosecutor and specifically named BAE. Saab makes the Gripen fighters now being delivered to the South African …


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  1. Graham Bartlett

    Swedish National Anti-Corruption Unit

    Clearly someone spotted the result of calling it the Swedish National Anti-Fraud Unit.

  2. Magnus_Pym


    "BAE providing marketing and sales expertise to Saab".

    Clearly SAAB didn't know haw these deals work and BAE did. Sounds like they got what they paid for.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @AC 14.48GMT

        "The British government needs to start being a bit tougher and start pointing out to the likes of the US and Sweden that we will hold our companies to account then perhaps they will ensure their own back yards are clean too."

        There, fixed that for you. This isn't a tit-for-tat game - the ability of the SFO to do anything meaningful with British firms [alleged to be] indulging in blatant and serious corruption is an embarrassment to anyone that cares about justice.

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          1. DF118


            What's with all this jingoistic flag-waving? BAE and BP aren't really all that British anyway. You're right about one thing. It *is* them and us, but it's a different them and a different us.

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              1. DF118


                You're talking about tax receipts from that over-subsidised bunch of handout-suckers?

                I'm not going to go any further because your confrontational tone belies your obvious belief that you are thinking logically. Cheerio!

    2. Mike Richards


      The Swedes aren't quite as squeaky clean as you may think when it comes to selling minimalistic and elegant weapons systems:

  3. Anonymous Coward

    KPMG for a kicking?

    Inquiring minds need to know.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Good thought ...

      ... and long overdue!

  4. Anonymous Coward


    This article didn't say that the South Africans should have bought the far superior and much cheaper US Made F-16. What on earth is going on - has Lewis lost the plot ?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: SHOCK, HORRO(R)

      Sssshhh! It's supposed to be a secret.

      The Gripen's a better product and ISTR it's cheaper too, as it manages to do its stuff with only the one engine.....

    2. mike 32

      We (SA) probably should have...

      but I doubt any US companies would pony up the required cash to the politically-connected pigs in the trough that is the SA Arms deal.

  5. Bumpy Cat

    Just the cost of doing business

    What's a $400m fine to a company which does deals worth billions? Just another business expense. The spineless, toothless anti-fraud bodies in each country administer a slap on the wrist and BAE just carries on doing the same thing.

    *sigh* I'm in a cynical mood today.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    @Bumpy Cat

    "What's a $400m fine to a company which does deals worth billions?"

    Not much. Turnover and profit. Read up on it.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      AC ...

      ... rhetorical question. Read up on it.

  7. ratfox Silver badge

    Wow – a bribe in an arms deal?

    Who would've thunk?

  8. nyelvmark

    Wikipedia says

    ...that a Gripen costs 41-60 million USD. Presumably the lower price is in the entirely hypothetical situation where nobody asks for a kickback.

  9. DF118


    So, are other notionally non-US arms dealers in the news in their "home" nations as often as BAE are here, or are BAE just really shit and always getting caught with their pants down?

    I mean, the fact that they are a shower of recidivist scumbags is without question, but do they really have to go around advertising it so blatantly all the time? Are they getting off on the exposure or something?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      If you are untouchable ...

      ... then you don't need to hide your wrong-doings. For whatever reason, these objectionable cunts are given a free pass to get on and do whatever it is they need to do. In a decent country, they would be locked away from decent people, along with other dangerous psychopaths.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Is SAAB really that naive and unworldly?

    It seems somewhat naive of SAAB to think that any company can sell arms to third world countries without "applying grease to the wheels of commerce".

    This is the way that business is done in these countries. Hell, you can't even guarantee that your shipment will reach the intended parties without a little graft. It's hardly any different than working with the Longshoremens Union in New York harbour, except maybe cheaper.

    Call it a "payment for cooperation", call it a "rebate" or "negotiated discount", call it "Backshish", call it what you will; but this is a well known issue with tin-pot countries and you can bet your communion money that EVERY company that does business with these people has had to pay SOMETHING to get that business and make it happen.

    I hope there is no detailed record of the transaction anywhere. THAT would have been REALLY stupid!!!!!! Evere hear the phrase "God loves a cash business".

    The question is, if the so called crime took place in country B, do the laws of country A apply?

    I would bet that country B does not wish to prosecute the payer or the payee.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Handy Hint..

    If you want *your* company to win that important "developing" country "defense" deal.

    Hire BAE as your PR company.

    Obvious really.

  12. Johan Bastiaansen


    Why was BAE providing marketing and sales expertise to Saab? Was it because NOT A SINGLE ONE Saab Viggen was exported?

    It's happening to me right now. The fools couldn't sell an ice cone in the Sahare, but when you bring in a contract all of sudden everybody claims he could have done a better job. Well, why didn't they then?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    important contribution

    if you record yourself saying "Sanip" and play it backwards, it sounds like "penis".

  14. The Dodoman

    "about a contract.... which Saab had no prior knowledge."

    Rather than calling this corruption it is commonly referred to on the ground as... "networking fees"

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