Investigation: British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are three times higher than thought

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Investigation: British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are three times higher than thought

AFP

A new investigation revealed that the arms and military equipment Britain exported to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen are three times higher than previously thought.

According to official government figures, ministers have signed off on arms sales worth £6.7 billion to export bombs, missiles and planes since Saudi Arabia began bombing neighboring Yemen in 2015.

But researchers who have delved into official records and those of arms manufacturers say the real figure is likely closer to £20 billion because the official figures do not include sales made under a murky “open licensing” system.

Between 2014 and August 2019, the UK operated an open license for bombs and air-to-ground missiles to Saudi Arabia separately, and the equipment and components used in the Eurofighter Typhoon were covered by an open license.

Experts also checked the accounts of companies known to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and found that only one company, BAE Systems, sourced from the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation, had revenues of nearly £17 billion during this period.

As a result, experts estimate the true value of exports to be close to £20 billion.

Source: “The Independent”





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