BAE Fraud Investigation Linked to Resignation of Minister

22 April 2008 (Last Updated April 22nd, 2008 09:09)

A Tanzanian minister has resigned amid accusations of involvement in a BAE Systems defence contract, currently under investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office. The SFO is probing a 2002 contract under which BAE supplied Tanzania with a military radar system, a £28m deal that was

A Tanzanian minister has resigned amid accusations of involvement in a BAE Systems defence contract, currently under investigation by the UK Serious Fraud Office.

The SFO is probing a 2002 contract under which BAE supplied Tanzania with a military radar system, a £28m deal that was strongly criticised by aid agencies and politicians, including the then UK International Development Secretary Clare Short, The Telegraph reports.

Infrastructure Minister Andrew Chenge is reported to have stood down following claims of him having a large sum of money in a bank account in Jersey, which Tanzanian media say could be connected to the deal.

Chenge's lawyers say he was not involved in deciding who got the contract.

Earlier this year the SFO was involved in a court case over the abandonment of an investigation into the BAE's Al Yamamah deal with Saudi Arabia, however it continues to investigate several other deals.

BAE says it is 'fully cooperating' with the SFO inquiry but will not comment further. The SFO declined to comment.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh