Spain’s national court is investigating contracts on supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia for 23 years. It turned out that the heads of the state company could pay millions of bribes for the conclusion of contracts.
Judge Jose de La Mata considers five transactions from 1992 to 2004 between Riyadh from Riyadh and the company Defex, and an additional 11 contracts signed between 2005 and 2014, according to El Pais.
51% of Defex is owned by the Spanish state through the holding company SEPI, and the remaining 49% is in the hands of private companies, whose main activity is the sale of weapons.
The activities of the company Defex interested investigators in 2014, when it became known about the suspicious transaction related to the sale of police equipment in Angola. As it turned out, additional money was allocated through invoices for the transfer of civil servants in the African country and employees of the Spanish company.
The investigation into the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia is an offshoot of the scandal in Angola. According to the judge, the company is currently being liquidated and its three senior officials – the former President, Vice President and chief of operations-are under investigation for maintaining a “systematic criminal pattern” for more than two decades.
The Spanish court asked for help in Switzerland about the contract for military equipment with a representative of the Saudi company in the amount of 19.05 million euros. The actual cost of delivery was 14.55 million euros. Investigators also found a payment of 7.6 million euros to the Saudi company for services that simply were not provided.
Liquidation Of Defex
In April 2017, the SEPI Council agreed to ask the Cabinet to allow the voluntary dissolution of Defex. The company could no longer function “as a result of damage to its reputation” and because of “precautions imposed during the investigation”. In September of the same year, the Cabinet approved the decision.
However, the company continued to operate after its dissolution as it had signed previous commitments. In 2017, the contracts concluded amounted to 805 thousand euros under contracts with Latin America, according to the annual reports of SEPI. The holding company refused to clarify the current situation of Defex.