Arms industry

UK arms chief caught in secret deal with Saudis

Ex-head of BAE Systems is found to have secertly acquired two luxury flats from Saudi companies.

Sun Feb 3, 2013 5:14PM GMT

Sir Dick Evans was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) over whether his flats worth in Mayfair, one of London’s most expensive areas, were bought for him as a “kickback” using cash creamed off from the al-Yamamah arms deal, the The Sunday Times reported.

However, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s intervention forced the inquiries to be stopped over concerns about a diplomatic row between the UK and the Saudi regime.

The newspaper said that the SFO was probing whether Evans’ flats, which are jointly worth £6m, may have been linked to an arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, which is accused of brutal crackdown on peaceful anti-regime protests, is considered as Britain's largest trading partner in the Middle East, with bilateral trade worth more than £15 billion every year.