Two hundred fifty Swedish armored vehicles, BMP-1 are “secretly” being shipped to Iraq by a Czech company illegaly, revealed Swedish Radio News today.
In 2010, the Swedish Defence Material Administration, FMV, sold 350 light tanks to a state-run Czech company.
The vehicles were no longer needed by the Swedish armed forces, and the Czechs were quoted as saying, they were going to be used by the nation's army, Jan Villaume, SalesIncharge at FMV was quoted by Radio Sweden on Tuesday.
"They were exchanging parts of their own fleet and were going to use the rest for spare parts," Jan told Swedish Radio News.
But the state-run company turned out to be a middleman for the private Czech company Excalibur, which will now sell 250 BMD-tanks to Iraq.
The problem is that due to the Swedish export rules, FMV wouldn't have sold the weapons to the Czech Republic if they had known the end customer was Iraq.
"We were informed by them too that they were interested, and we told them that we cannot sell to them, since they are a private company," Jan Villaume at FMV said.
In Sweden, the current, as well as the previous, government have said no to weapons export to Iraq. But as it is formally the Czech Republic that is selling the vehicles, there is nothing Sweden can do.
"We clearly wouldn't have made the deal directly with Iraq, so it is now an indirect deal. It seems legal, but is not so good," said Jan Villaume at FMV.