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Cedar Lounge >>
Irelands secret Arms Trade not so Neutral.
Wednesday January 29, 2014 16:21 by Don MacThomais
A recent Channel 4 documentary showed that a drone shot down in Sudan after taking part in government operations against civilians and rebels had a carburettor apparently made in Tillotson's Tralee
A recent Channel 4 documentary showed that a drone shot down in Sudan after taking part in several government operations against civilians and rebels contained a carburettor apparently made in Tillotson's Tralee plant.
The EU exports billions of euros' worth of weaponry and other military hardware every year. Below are details of these exports broken down by source and destination country, year, and type of goods.
Click on individual values to filter results. Link : http://www.caat.org.uk/resources/export-licences-eu/lic....html
Licensed goods: Arms export licence figures are provided for all EU countries. These cover items on the Military List (equipment that is definitely for military use) but do not include Dual-Use items (equipment that could be for military or civil use).
Exported goods: Most countries have also provided figures for the value of exported goods. Germany and the UK are notable exceptions.
Figures indicate known values and are inevitably incomplete due to the differences in reporting between countries.
The three Kerry companies that have become involved in this lucrative market in recent years are Tralee based firms Reamda, Altobridge and Pulse Learning. The companies have proved remarkably successful, are rapidly growing and have expanded their business to include providing services to various defence and security forces.
Transparency International rates the arms industry as one of the most corrupt business sectors, which is not surprising given that deals are often large, complex, shrouded in officially-sanctioned secrecy, and have a select few making the decision to buy.
Corruption is not just an add-on to the trade; it can be central to it, increasing spending on arms by giving decision-makers an incentive to purchase weapons.
Allegations of corruption are widespread. Occasionally there are convictions but, given the close relationship between government and industry, investigations are hard to start and even harder to bring to court.
David Cameron and Vince Cable selling BAE Hawk jets to India, July 2010
Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable helping to sell BAE Hawk jets to India, July 2010. Photo: UK Foreign Office
In 2004, following compelling evidence in the media, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) began investigating BAE deals with numerous countries including Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tanzania and the Czech Republic. However, the pivotal Saudi strand was stopped in 2006 following political intervention by Tony Blair (which in turn resulted from pressure by the Saudi government and BAE). Eventually the SFO agreed only a plea bargain limited to “accounting irregularities” in a BAE contract with Tanzania.
Meanwhile, a US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into several of the cases continued. In 2010 BAE was sentenced “to pay a $400 million criminal fine, one of the largest criminal fines in the history of DOJ’s ongoing effort to combat overseas corruption in international business and enforce U.S. export control laws.”