Chile, Qatar and Romania
In 1989, Chilean leader General Pinochet arranged an artillery rocket deal with BAE's Royal Ordnance division. The Rayo 160mm multiple rocket launcher system was to be developed jointly with Chile. The Chilean army was reported to have sunk $60million into it before abandoning the project in 2003. There were also joint naval projects. In 2005, in response to a Chilean judge investigating Pinochet's tax affairs, the US handed over banking records showing payments totalling $2,098,841 made by BAE to what were said to be front companies and middlemen associated with Pinochet.
The status of the investigation with regards to Chile ahad long been unclear as the SFO did not mention it, but refused to answer questions about when it stopped.
BAE was part of a consortium which won a record £500million deal to sell military hardware, including Hawk aircraft, to Qatar in 1996. £7 million “commission” was alleged to have been paid into three Jersey trust funds under the control of Qatar’s Foreign Minister. A criminal investigation began in Jersey in 2000, but ended in 2002 on “public interest” grounds. The Qatari Foreign Minister denied any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay Jersey £6million for “perceived damage”.
As with Chile, the status of the investigation with regards to Qatar ahad long been unclear as the SFO did not mention it, but refused to answer questions about when it stopped.
Under an agreement signed in January 2003 the Romanian government bought two ex-Royal Navy frigates. BAE paid the UK MoD £100,000 for each ship and then upgraded them in a £116 million package. The deal was underwritten by the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department.
On 7 June 2007 The Guardian alleged that an agent called Barry George, whose wife is a Romanian with good connections to the old communist regime, was paid £7 million by BAE to fix the deal. BAE had allegedly told the ECGD that 1% commission had been paid to Barry George and 6% to another agent based in Guernsey. However, SFO investigators had allegedly discovered that all the money had gone to the Georges.
There were reports from Romania suggesting that the SFO may have ended its inquiry regarding that country in June 2009.