RUAG weapons scandal suspects ‘had past business link’

The RUAG scandal suspects are said to have done past business together too Keystone

The two prime suspects at the centre of an alleged illegal arms contract between Switzerland and Russia have been linked to previous suspect business ventures, according to media reports.

This content was published on March 24, 2018 - 13:26

A manager at the Swiss state-owned defence contractor RUAG has been suspended along with an employee of Swiss private bank Julius Baer as investigations continue. The Tages Anzeiger newspaper said it had unearthed evidence linking both to a previous venture.

Both were high ranking executives of the now-defunct telecoms firm Novavox some 15 years ago, a company that had strong links to Russia, the newspaper stated on Saturday.

Furthermore, the RUAG employee was linked to a United States businessman who was jailed for three years for stock market manipulation in 2014. The article says this business relationship continued for more than a year after he joined RUAG.

The Julius Baer employee was also Moscow office manager on the Liechtenstein VP Bank when it became entangled with corruption cases, the newspaper adds.

The Swiss prosecutor raided RUAG offices earlier this week following a whistleblower tip-off that sniper rifles, small arms and helicopter cameras were being illegally exported to Russia’s secret service. RUAG alerted Swiss officials after uncovering evidence of wrongdoing, but on Friday denied that any of the equipment had actually been shipped to Russia.

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