Brits probe Saudi Royal arms kickbacks

Via Ummah News Links, we learn of a British investigation into possible kickbacks on an arms deal with the Saudis by British Aerospace. The interesting direction of the probe is that it may be targeting members of the Saudi Royal Family. From the UK Guardian via The Hindu:

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is on the brink of obtaining information from Swiss banks which may implicate the Saudi royal family in secret arms deal commissions of more than 100 million, sources close to the Attorney General's office confirmed on Sunday.

The SFO has been inquiring for three years, in some secrecy, into allegations of systematic corruption in international deals arranged by Britain's biggest arms company, BAE Systems.

But it was only this autumn that the Saudis, along with BAE executives and officials of the Ministry of Defence's arms sales department, DESO, became aware of how much progress the SFO has made. Sources close to the Swiss say the authorities there notified two middlemen that access to their bank accounts was being sought.

One is believed to be a prominent Lebanese politician, the other a wealthy Syrian. A process of formal appeal by them has been taking place in Geneva. Legal sources said the Swiss normally grant preliminary access in such criminal cases for accounts to be inspected. This would enable the SFO to trace any payments passed on to accounts belonging to the Saudi royals.

Via Ummah News Links, we learn of a British investigation into possible kickbacks on an arms deal with the Saudis by British Aerospace. The interesting direction of the probe is that it may be targeting members of the Saudi Royal Family. From the UK Guardian via The Hindu:

The U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is on the brink of obtaining information from Swiss banks which may implicate the Saudi royal family in secret arms deal commissions of more than 100 million, sources close to the Attorney General's office confirmed on Sunday.

The SFO has been inquiring for three years, in some secrecy, into allegations of systematic corruption in international deals arranged by Britain's biggest arms company, BAE Systems.

But it was only this autumn that the Saudis, along with BAE executives and officials of the Ministry of Defence's arms sales department, DESO, became aware of how much progress the SFO has made. Sources close to the Swiss say the authorities there notified two middlemen that access to their bank accounts was being sought.

One is believed to be a prominent Lebanese politician, the other a wealthy Syrian. A process of formal appeal by them has been taking place in Geneva. Legal sources said the Swiss normally grant preliminary access in such criminal cases for accounts to be inspected. This would enable the SFO to trace any payments passed on to accounts belonging to the Saudi royals.