BAE merchants of death corruption scandal

This video is called BAE Systems Confront Massive New Corruption and Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Allegations.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

BAE accounts probe ‘must stay open’

Friday 09 August 2013

Britain’s audit watchdog was slammed by arms trade and transparency campaigners today for scrapping a probe into BAE Systems‘s accounts.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat) and The Corner House are to challenge the Financial Reporting Council‘s (FRC) decision to close an investigation into the conduct of auditors KPMG between 1997 and 2007.

Begun by the FRC’s predecessor body in 2010, the probe was to focus on commissions paid by BAE to subsidiaries, agents and any connected companies.

In the spotlight was also any advice, consultancy or tax work provided by KPMG, as well as offshore BAE subsidiaries Diamond Trading, Poseidon Trading Investments and Novelmight.

But the FRC said that it would have to look at audits from before ’97 and this would not be in the public interest.

Caat and Corner House said that was rubbish, with numerous examples of such dodgy payments in the 10-year period.

They cited the deal to supply military air traffic control systems to Tanzania, which was the subject of a 2010 “plea bargain” with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over corruption charges.

And they pointed out that the trio of offshore firms, which were used to channel secret payments, were all set up between ’97 and ’07.

“The public interest in the FRC pursuing these issues is great,” the two groups said in a letter to the agency sent by their solicitors Leigh Day.

“A failure to detect potential corrupt payments is a manifest audit failure and poses enormous risks to the public interest and the proper functioning of commerce.”

Caat spokeswoman Kaye Stearman said KPMG appeared to have signed off BAE‘s accounts without investigating the detailed allegations of illegal payments.

BAE Systems‘s corrupt and illegal activities are already well documented in the media and elsewhere,” she said.

The FRC’s probe was “the only way forward” after “Prime Minister Tony Blair forced the SFO to drop its investigation into the Saudi arms deals in 2006 and BAE secured plea bargains with the US and UK authorities in 2010,” she said.

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