Big things are happening in the French courts. French investigators are digging up a trail of corruption and kickbacks alleged to have been paid by French defence manufacturers Thales (formerly known as Thomson-CSF) and DCN (the manufacturer of the Scorpene submarines) to officials and agents in Taiwan, Pakistan, India and Malaysia for the purchase of French made submarines. Just imagine that these two companies are government–owned and that being so, French government officials are therefore deemed to be corrupt as well. It was reported that in the past, the extent of corruption goes right into the palace of the French President.
Recently, Mr. Joseph Breham, a French investigator was in Malaysia to carry out enquiries supposedly relating to the purchase of the two Scorpene class submarines by the Malaysian government, which was built by Armaris (a subsidiary of DCN). The French investigator has made some revealing statements that identified Perimekar, the Malaysian agent for the Scorpene deal, was merely commission earner without any prior experience in naval procurement. Perimekar’s incorporation as a registered Malaysian company for the multi billion ringgit deal was done only a few months before the signing of the contract. Mr. Joseph Breham further reveals that DCN is famous for paying kickbacks and commissions, as was noted in the Taiwan and Pakistan cases. The Malaysian government has said that it does not want to have anything to do with the French investigator, and this only strengthens public belief and perception that there were indeed some dubious dealings i.e. a hefty kickback.
A kickback reportedly of 140 million Euro was paid to the Malaysian agent, but what is of concern to the investigator is whether any portion of the kickback was funneled back to French officials. The poor Mongolian beauty never got her share of the commission for being a ‘partner’ in the deal. She got blown to smitten instead. And similarly, I do not really know if Razak Baginda actually got his portion of the commission, since the money trail was not detected anyway in banks in this country. Had the money been here, BNM would surely have detected it. However, the revelation by the French investigator does confirm that there was a commission paid, and where do you think is the money deposited?
It is unfortunate that dealings with French defence manufacturers has resulted in a trail of death that is believed to have been caused by failed promises of cash payouts, blackmailing, greed etc. Pakistan and Malaysia are cases in point. Mysterious cases of death like these makes excellent James Bond movie and I hope some movie producers at some point in time will consider making one. And to dispose off a dead body with the use of the C4, I am sure is an act that has never been filmed before.
Malaysia has had a bad experience over the submarine deal that leaves an indelible black mark in our country’s defence dealings with France. Now, we hear of the probable purchase of the Eurocopter for the RMAF, which has a French label attached. The Army too has recently gone for the French manufactured 120mm Rifled Mortars manufactured by Thales. And I suppose the ammunition for the mortars is also French manufactured. Unfortunately, the mortars are not to be mounted on French made mortar carriers, but most probably on the Adnan Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV); a Turkish brand. I am just wondering if the Adnan IFV is sufficiently built to take on a 120mm Mortar mounted role. If Adnan IFV is not suitable, then there will always be the French to the rescue.
The Eryx anti-tank missile that is in the army’s inventory is also French manufactured. And it was only a few days ago that a friend send me an email showing a video of a French soldier deploying the Eryx, whose missile dropped only a few meters in front of the soldier when fired.
So the French connection with Malaysia is strong, and it will get stronger if French defence manufacturers remain willing to offer hefty commissions and kickbacks to Malaysian agents. That’s how Malaysian agents operate anyway. Someone did pass a remark to me recently when he said to the effects that, “if you want to be an instant millionaire, go for French”. Not French fries please, but the Euros.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION