BAE in hot water, again. Bribery, again. Though with new clients this time
How surprising! BAE dominates Sleaze Alley again, this time with bribery as a sales-and-marketing tool in dealing with South Africa, the Czech Republic, Romania and Tanzania - though most deals were done in the 1990s. BAE failed to reach a settlement with Britain’s Serious Fraud Office and is now almost certain to end up in court. It looks as if BAE miscalculated this time; probably expecting to be treated in the same way it was in the previous probe of a gigantic bribery racket set up around a Saudi arms deal. In 2005, then Prime Minister Tony Blair killed the investigation citing national interests. But it appears that Gordon Brown’s team decided to stay out of the five-year old investigation, dealing a serious blow to BAE’s self-confidence. Of course, the question now is: How much of the funds ended up in South African pockets?