Friday, June 15, 2007

Crooked Bank May Be Tie Between Prince Bandar, Big Defense Contractor

by Last week, the BBC and the Guardian reported that BAE Systems, the world's fourth-largest defense company, paid approximately $2 billion to an Saudi account in the now-defunct Riggs Bank controlled by Bandar as part of Britain's largest-ever defense deal. That purchase, known as al-Yamamah, brought Britain over $80 billion in Saudi money in return for BAE-manufactured aircrat in 1985, and has been a fruitful target for UK scandal-watchers ever since. Tony Blair personally scotched an investigation by his government's Serious Fraud Office into the alleged kickbacks in December, and he reaffirmed that decision last week when the Bandar allegations broke, saying, "I don't believe the investigation would have led to anywhere except to the complete wreckage of a vital interest to our country."

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