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Prosecutors begin probe into military corruption

Posted November. 22, 2010 11:15,   


Military prosecutors have started a full-fledged probe into alleged corruption in the armed forces, including fraud in the maintenance of military aircraft such as Lynx anti-submarine helicopters, defects in new military boots, and flaws in the armored infantry fighting vehicle K-21.

To undergo questioning will be naval officials suspected of glossing over poor maintenance of military aircraft.

A military official said Sunday, “Military prosecutors will question this week three to four Navy officials, including a colonel-grade officer, over the maintenance scam on Lynx helicopters and P-3C maritime surveillance aircraft.”

“We will also probe if naval officers took bribes when they supervised defense subcontractors. Private companies are known to have received money though they never performed repairs.”

Another target of the investigation is faulty military boots. Based on a Defense Ministry audit on why the boots’ heels came off easily, prosecutors are probing military officials working at the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

A civilian official at the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality requested the investigation, and the focus is on whether military officials had collusive ties with heel suppliers in the process of changing military standards for the heels’ adhesive strength.

Defects in the armored infantry fighting vehicle K-21 have also invited suspicion. Military auditors will reprimand 25 officials at the Agency for Defense Development, the Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration for poor handling of the K-21’s development process.

“We are examining whether to impose criminal penalties on those responsible for the defects,” a Defense Ministry official said.

In addition, military authorities have also charged military engineer executives for their alleged roles in other corruption cases.