Chilean generals jailed for taking Dutch bribes

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Two retired Chilean generals are charged with accepting USD 600,000 bribe to buy Dutch tanks in 1998.

Santiago – Two retired Chilean army officers have been charged with accepting bribes for the purchase of Dutch armoured vehicles in 1998. The men are accused of taking a nearly USD 600,000 bribe over the sale of 200 Leopard tanks.

The money went missing during the purchase of 200 Leopard tanks in 1998. It is not clear whether the men were offered the money or whether they siphoned it off.

A court in Santiago judged on Monday that there is enough evidence to prosecute the two and they have been jailed, pending trial.

The tanks were sold by the Netherlands' defense supplier RDM to Chile for USD 63 million. All of the vehicles were scheduled for replacement in 2006, because they "had already been in a deplorable state when they arrived," according to press reports in Chile.

The imputation that RDM paid bribes for the sale of their tanks must also be investigated in the Netherlands, said defence minister Joris Voorhoeve, according to De Telegraaf on Tuesday.

The two ex-officers' alleged corruption came to light in the course of an investigation into the overseas accounts of Chile's late dictator, General Augusto Pinochet. When he died in 2006, the accounts had been frozen as part of his indictment on tax evasion charges and.held USD 28 million.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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