Friday, August 7, 2009

Former Generals Held Over Tank Payments

A court has ordered two retired generals jailed in an investigation over the 1998 purchase of 202 Leopard I tanks from Holland. The two are suspected of taking bribes (nearly $300,000 each) from RDM Technology, the Dutch company that sold the tanks. Others could face charges. A payment of $1.6 million landed in the bank account of a company owned by the executor of former President Augusto Pinochet, according to reports. The investigation also is looking into an executive who brokered talks between RDM and Famae, the Chilean army's munitions company, and got a $7.5 million commission. The purchase totaled $54 million, without the commissions. Marketing, consulting and related fees are common in arms deals; the question is whether they represented a misappropriation of state funds.

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