Being from Texas and a life-long Dallas Cowboys fan, I’ve seen all kinds of Cowboys colored vehicles. One of my neighbors had one of those old custom vans popular in the 80′s painted silver with a star for a window bordered of course with Cowboy’s blue. I dig fan expression.
Anti-bribery government investigators in the United Kingdom and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into a massive arms deal between the Saudis and British-based BAE Systems that dates back to the 1980s. The deal allegedly included the gift of the Airbus to Bandar on his birthday in 1998 and $2 billion that BAE deposited in Saudi accounts in a Washington bank.
Bandar representatives, including former FBI director Louis Freeh, have denied the bribery allegations. Freeh said on the PBS Frontline program “Black Money” earlier this year that the money was part of an oil-for-jets barter deal, and that the A-340 is a military aircraft registered to the Saudi Air Force and assigned for Bandar’s use.
The U.S. government is looking at the flow of funds under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which gives law enforcement broad jurisdiction over questionable payments of funds and goods to government officials.
Justice Department spokesperson Laura Sweeney said that “the department has not confirmed that investigation,” but BAE itself has confirmed that it is being investigated by U.S. and British officials.
“BAE Systems’ view is that the interests of the company as well as all of its stakeholders, including the general public, are best served by allowing the ongoing investigations to run their course,” spokesman John Neilson told the Star-Telegram in a prepared statement. “The company is working with regulators towards that end and is providing access to people, information and premises whenever requested.”
The British investigation into BAE payments to the Saudis was quashed by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair in December 2006 after Bandar complained to him that the corruption probe would damage relations, especially on counterterrorism.
Well so much for that.