Murphy's Law: The Bountiful Bribes From BAE


December 9,2008: A South African corruption investigation discovered that British defense manufacturer BAE paid $150 million in bribes to local officials, in order to obtain orders for 24 Hawk jet trainers (costing over half a billion dollars). These aircraft cost $13 million each, which was nearly twice the price other manufacturers were charging for similar aircraft. The first Hawks were delivered two years ago, and the original deal was signed in 1999.

BAE also got into trouble for paying similar size bribes to Saudi Arabian officials to facilitate a deal for Eurofighters. When British investigators sought to prosecute BAE, the Saudis threatened to cut off counter-terrorism cooperation if the British investigators did not back off. The British government ordered the prosecution halted.


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