Friday, August 3, 2012

Prince Bandar: A timely death just before US Justice department reopens bribery investigations ?

Stumbled across this-

“ It was also reported on July 29 that the United States government re-opened its investigation against Prince Bandar, regarding allegations that he received bribes from BAE Systems, the largest arms dealer in United Kingdom."
Also- The US Justice Department is once again investigating a Saudi prince over allegations of bribery.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has been accused of receiving bribes from the UK's largest arms dealer, BAE Systems.

It has been alleged that the Saudi Prince, who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States for two decades, received millions of dollars in bribes from BAE Systems with the full knowledge of British Ministry of Defence.
The BBC has detailed payments to the prince from 2007, when money was allegedly put into Prince Bandar's account through a Washington bank. At the time Saudi Arabia was negotiating with BAE to purchase weaponry.
 In December 2006, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, ordered that an investigation into the matter should be closed.

Prince Bandar has denied the bribery allegations.
I wouldn't say he exactly denied the bribery allegations, as you will read-

Glympton looks at first sight like a typical English village.

But the entire Cotswolds hamlet and the surrounding 810-hectare (2,000-acre) sporting estate are owned by a rich Saudi. (Not just any rich Saudi..)

Prince Bandar [biography] - son of Prince Sultan, the Saudi defence minister - bought Glympton on what are alleged to have been his winnings from Britain's biggest arms deal.
 He constructed a complete replica English pub within the walls of his mansion, to entertain his friends.
 Not to be outdone, his agent, a Syrian called Wafic Said [biography], built Tusmore Park, a grand stately home in the Palladian manner, nearby.
The British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, negotiated with Bandar to clinch the so-called al-Yamamah deal [profile] for BAE [BAE's position] in 1985

 DIGRESSION ALERT!!!Recalling....... Margaret Thatchers son Mark the arms dealer
 “Margaret Thatcher’s son, Mark Thatcher, was involved in the sale of 220 Tornado aircraft to Saudi Arabia. Huge kickbacks were paid to several Saudi royals and Mark Thatcher himself received his share for his part in the deal. Recently, a report in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, said: “The MoD documents reveal that the price of each Tornado was inflated by 32 per cent, from £16.3m to £21.5m. It is common in arms deals for the prices of weapons to be raised so that commissions can be skimmed off the top. The £600m involved is the same amount that, it was alleged at the time in Arab publications, was exacted in secret commissions paid to Saudi royals and their circle of intermediaries in London and Riyadh, as the price of the deal.” Ended
 And the sums available were mind-boggling. Over the past 20 years, the warplane programme has brought £43bn in revenue for BAE [profile].The deal made the career of BAE executive Dick Evans [biography], who rose to chair the company on the strength of it.

Police later calculated that more than £6bn may have been distributed in corrupt commissions, via an array of agents and middlemen.Newly obtained documents and our own investigations have revealed details of where the money may Millions went to Bandar, according to US sources. Up to $30m (£15m) at a time is alleged to have been paid into his dollar account at Riggs Bank [profile] in Washington.

More millions were paid by BAE into Wafic Said-linked accounts in Switzerland.
Bandar's father, Prince Sultan [biography], was described by a British ambassador as having "a corrupt interest in all contracts".

Legal sources say BAE disguised many of the payments by making them through an anonymous offshore company, Poseidon.

Large amounts were also alleged to have been transferred in this way to Mohammed Safadi [biography], a Lebanese politician.
He acted for Sultan's son-in-law, Prince Turki bin Nasser [biography], who controlled the Saudi air force. 
The arms firm provided him with extravagant holidays, fleets of classic cars, planeloads of shopping and blond girlfriends.

BAE claims these treats were "paid for under the contractual arrangements". But in fact bills went to the al-Yamamah contract at the MoD under the misleading phrase "support services" [document].

The cash for all these payoffs came, simply enough, from overcharging.

Accidentally released UK documents [article] reveal that the basic price of the planes was inflated by 32%, to allow for an initial £600m in commissions.

That was only the start. Many UK sub-contractors - for jet engines, weapons and electronics - have revealed that they too were required to pay commissions.[article] Spare parts, maintenance, construction of local bases - every aspect of al-Yamamah is alleged to have involved corruption.

Former British defence secretary Ian Gilmour told Newsnight:

"If you are paying bribes to high-up people in the government, the fact that it's illegal in Saudi law doesn't mean much."
Asked about allegations of royal corruption in 2001, Prince Bandar said:
"If you tell me that building this whole country ... out of $400bn, that we misused, or got, $50bn, I'll tell you, 'Yes. So what?'."

"We did not invent corruption [...] This has happened since Adam and Eve. It's human nature." [transcript]
But the British government still falls over itself to conceal Saudi behaviour [article]. Michael Heseltine, then defence secretary, was the first of a chorus, claiming:
(Concealing just Saudi behaviour? What about British behaviour?)

"The government had no knowledge and no dealings involving commission arrangements."
The documents reveal that, in fact, under the 1977 Cooper directive [document] still in force at the time, the UK government was heavily involved.
BAE was told by the MoD to sign a letter claiming the payments were "accepted by the Saudi authorities".

The commission amounts were then agreed by the head of DSO, Sir Colin Chandler [biography], and personally authorised by the MoD permanent secretary, Sir Clive Whitmore.

Just as it had done on previous deals, the MoD arranged BAE's resultant profit margins.

It also took a 2% management fee from the Saudis and set up an entire London office block [profile] of civil servants to run the government-to-government contract.

The cash for Bandar, described as for "marketing services", was allegedly drawn from Bank of England accounts containing Saudi Arabia's money, jointly controlled by DESO and BAE.
Within days of the deal being announced, an Arab-language magazine reached the desk of Thatcher's chief adviser, Charles Powell [biography]. In detail, it accused Bandar and others of taking huge commissions.(Like Mark Thatcher)
 The Whitehall advice was not to attempt any denial: "We suggest MoD should simply refuse all comment." [document]
 It might have been more stylish, perhaps, of the civil servants, and more in tune with the occasion, to recommend an old Arab proverb: "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on." For in the end, it was to take more than 20 years for outsiders to crack these squalid secrets of al-Yamamah.
 Question? Why would the US Justice Department reopen an old investigation at this time?
Particularly after allegations of Prince Bandar's death?


  1. Hard to believe that the Justice Dept. will be reopening any cases of this type, but thanks for the heads-up, Penny!

  2. News About Syria - English
    5 hours ago
    #Syria #RealSyria

    Top insurgent leaders on Thursday made death threats against the director of Arabic-language Al-Alam news network in Syria, Hossein Mortada, and gave similar warnings to Maya Naser, who is the local correspondent of English-language Press TV news network in Aleppo.

    The death threats come as Syrian insurgents and their advocates are angry at the channels' coverage of the events in Syria.

    Press TV
    you know you are doing your job when thuggish criminals take offence

  3. Penny, Bandar (at this stage rumoured to have been) seen in Switzerland with a Mossad officer.

    1. Thanks Clothcap! Do you have a link handy or something along that line?
      I would love to update the post.

    2. Found it -
      Report From French Sources Have Saudi Intel Chief in Switzerland

    3. Couple more, thanks to Iris Arum -

      Saudi media -

    4. The guy in that last link really doth protest too much.

    5. Arabs generally write in a much more decorative, flowery perhaps, style that often takes a page to say what English would fit in a sentence.

      Guts say the man is dead (good riddance) or badly injured (well deserved) but the meme is chaos and dead or alive, the zionists let no event good or bad for them go to waste. Even were it to be just to distract from the brutal suppression of Baraini protesters by Saudis, or some such.

    6. Agreed about writing style. I once edited a book for an arab writer, and reduced it by 2/3 volume without sacrificing content. However this man claims that It is a conspiracy theory that gulf states are behind events in syria, in any way complicit, and people who suggest these things are Hysterical. His arrogance is very evident.

  4. The Bandar mystery continues!

    - Aangirfan

  5. ‎- Maya Naser, filed a report for PressTV from Aleppo. Good short video on what its like on the ground there. Also talks to a Syrian military commander and another soldier.

    - Turkey's Today Zaman reports that Kurdish PKK fighters are planning large scale attacks in Southern Turkey and have been moving fighters dressed as civilians up into urban areas. Maybe Turkey can complain to Iraq about terrorists crossing over the border?

    Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 4, 2012 2:39:17 PM | 4

  6. As far as the US investigation is considered maybe it is as simple as being frozen out of the transportation hub projects that Saudi is embarking on ($60B)? Or maybe they are reneging on some for the recent arms deals? Timing sounds an awful lot like leverage being applied in another realm (or a signal perhaps that the US is aware of what is occurring inside the Kingdom) especially considering recent events that US sources surely have a closer read on. Just a thought

    If bandar was in the Sud 7 camp (yes) did he clean break with the US backed reformist (Abdullah) camp? Dumb thought but was the Aspen sale another window into his thinking? Clean break

    It is worth considering he "got religion" as they say. The Telegraph is reporting that the Brotherhood is forming a militia inside Syria.

    For fear of beating a dead horse - here is Nayef from the NYT:

    "Prince Nayef, who could be equal parts charming and irascible, had long used his close alliance with the more traditional elements of Saudi Arabia’s puritan brand of Islam, Wahhabism, to block any movement toward political change. Political activists said they believed that his death would allow for greater openness in the kingdom because there is no other prince who wields such broad authority with such conviction. “He was the last of the really strong members of the Sudeiri group,” said Abdulaziz Algasim, a lawyer and activist. “There is no other such traditional, strong member. I think the royal family will move toward more of a partnership with the public.” At an infamous meeting in February 2011, with the region erupting and the presidents of Egypt and Tunisia toppling, Prince Nayef summoned the leading Saudi editors and columnists to a Riyadh dinner. In an extended tirade, he dismissed the Tunisians as basically French, and those in Cairo as louche urbanites, while arguing that the Saudis remained bedrock Arabs who held their traditional political system in high esteem, according to several accounts. A question about the improving prospects of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Egyptian Islamist group, set off a diatribe against both the treachery of the Brotherhood and the journalist who asked the question, with the prince labeling the journalist a terrorist sympathizer. The dinner went on until 4 a.m. with the prince raging about the many plots seeking to undermine the House of Saud, according to those accounts.....

    Pretty good summation.

    1. Maybe it is as simple as those arms and transport deals but given the eastern riots, the crackdown, the Nayef passing and the next generation positioning all against a backdrop of US sponsored Brotherhood regimes across the crescent unlikely...

      "Saudi Arabia is spending more than $60 billion on a logistics hub, airport improvement and roads to reduce travel time in the Arab world’s biggest economy. Saudi Arabia said on July 30 it had shortlisted four groups to submit bids to build an electrical subway train network linking major areas of Riyadh. The 175-kilometer electrical rail link will connect its airport with other parts of the city, including the new King Abdullah Financial Center, according to the website of ArRiyadh Development Authority. The first group, led by France’s Vinci SA (DG), includes Siemens AG of Germany and Saudi Arabia’s Almabani General Contractors Co., the official Saudi Press Agency reported. The second is headed by Canada’s Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B) and includes Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Holding Group and South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction Corp. (006360) The third group includes Samsung C&T Corp., while the fourth is led by Strabag SE, central Europe’s biggest construction company."

      Here is detail on the pending arms deal.
      84 F-15 fighter jets and assorted weaponry to the kingdom.
      Boeing, which manufactures the F-15, noted that it has a long history with the Saudis, having presented a DC-3 Dakota airplane to King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the kingdom’s founder, in 1945.

      Recall the recent selection of Dassualt over US fighters in India. (see earlier comments about INR and the gradual depreciation this year).

    2. Back to the GCC and integration and that "summit.' What is KSA so fearful of that they are pushing so hard for more rapid integration especially in view of their US sponsorship (or not)? If Bandar is DOA at the time the eastern provinces are seeing escalation, could it be as some have speculated that KSA had long since drifted out of the orbit and the Spring or threat thereof coming home was clear and present? Bandar as threat, bit like an SLBM being shot off the coast back in 2010? warning to Iran or KSA itself

      Graphic of the clans
      Bandar married to Turki sister -? all of Sud 7.

      [Aside: wiki reported Nayef died in Geneva in keeping with the BBC but not the Washington Post who had him dying in a US hospital?]

      The foreign ministers of six Gulf Arab countries will meet in September to discuss a plan for closer integration of the mostly Sunni Muslim monarchies, Saudi Arabia's English-language Arab News reported on Sunday. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah proposed last December that the Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, should move "to the stage of unity in a single entity" in response to uprisings in the Arab world and the perceived threat from Iran.

      More protests in Saudi arabia/Bahrain for Sunday planned

      While internal attacks escalate (rising tensions could serve many masters: those looking to push reforms as a virtual necessity using the spring consequences as leverage; those looking to further isolate the expanding Shiite arch; those looking to do both?). Is the uprising in Eastern Saudi being played on both sides by the various internal factions to advance their own agenda, reformist or otherwise (whilst being exploited by the US/Israel axis)? Ramping up those eastern protests gets you lots of bang for the buck in the growing chorus surrounding Iran...

      Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency says an armed group has killed a soldier in the eastern city of Qatif. It says gunmen on motorbikes attacked troops at a street intersection late Friday. A shootout reportedly left a soldier and one of the attackers dead, and one soldier wounded. The troops detained 4 of the gunmen.

      3 Israeli intel tops pointing to escalation...
      In the past 72 hours, three former top guns of Israeli intelligence discussed the subject with unnerving candor. Two of them expressed opposition to a unilateral Israeli attack under present circumstances.

    3. Also,

      That rapid escalation of violence in Iraq is another tell. First you have the western oil deals (Chevron) then the French (Total) then the Russians. Maliki and his crew are being isolated increasingly and the arrows from the deadliest month in Iraq look to be pointing south. While the fight has been mostly targeting Shiite, a Sunni lawmaker came under attack this weekend

      Iraqi lawmaker has survived a roadside bomb attack west of Baghdad that wounded two of his bodyguards. Iraqi officials said the bomb exploded on August 4 when the convoy of Hamed al-Mutlak, a Sunni member of parliament and brother of one of Iraq's deputy prime ministers, passed a village in Abu Ghraib, west of the capital.

      Also as far as Thatchers son, lest we forget he was picked up transiting

      South African police arrested Mark Thatcher, the son of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, early Wednesday on allegations he was involved in a plot to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea, police said.

    4. Finally, more on the creeping militarization of Sinai as a fait accompli per Ehglian dialectic

      Armed militants from the Sinai peninsula attacked an Egyptian military outpost, and tried to infiltrate the border with Israel on Sunday, the IDF spokesman confirmed on Sunday. The spokesman said that at 8 P.M. on Sunday evening, GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo, who was at the Amitai base in southern Israel, heard shooting from the area near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, on Philadelphi Road, on the border between Israel and Gaza.

      My apology in advance for the long winded and weaving links...

    5. no apologies necessary. Interesting, but, not long winded.
      You are broadening the perspective for all.
      The militarization of the Sinai.. and the Muslim Brotherhood.

      It seemed to me when the announced the opening of the Gaza crossing... just wide open.
      It was only going to be a matter of time..
      I even mentioned in personal conversation that move seemed to be just the excuse Israel will need
      It was as if Muslim Brotherhood was providing the set up for the show.
      And the news you linked it not a surprise.

  7. the hands off syria rally: in sydney australia aug 5
    the sydney rally:

  8. sunni woman tells it like it is about house of saud:

  9. Don't attack Iran now, warns ex-intel chief. Truth, bluff or double-bluff - who can tell?

    However this little snippet caught my eye-

    "But, he adds, there is a process in play that should not be stopped, which includes Assad’s eventual downfall, the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise to power in Egypt, the European Union oil embargo on Iran, the removal of Iran from the SWIFT banking network and the new round of sanctions imposed this week by President Barack Obama."

    So there we have it, in case there was any doubt, the Muslim Brotherhood are Zionist stooges.

  10. I will have a new post up shortly, sorry for my lack of responses :(

  11. The thing about Iran and SWIFT is ridiculous which makes me think the whole article might be a scam. By law, no bank is allowed to transfer at present TO Iran through SWIFT - it's illegal.

    SO I think the point is moot. The whole point why my country (Cyprus) hasn't been swollowed up in some mid-east conflict is because the entire banking system here works as a clearing house for dirty money - especially money that ends up in Iran.

    To get to Iran the banks here go through a sort of 6 point plan (lol) where transfers go through a myriad of accounts using SWIFT before they can be channeled to Iranian interests without SWIFT - therefore without an IBAN and a trace of origin - allegedly - so mentioning SWIFT in this article is just suspect!

    Just from my experience at working for one of these 'outfits' for 9 years!