Israeli media have reported the arrest of three Israelis earlier this week on suspicion of bribing Nigerian officials to enable defence deals worth $195 million.
The suspects are reportedly senior officials in Israel Shipyards, a formerly state-owned firm that is the country’s biggest shipbuilder and one of the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The officials are suspected of bribing a Nigerian public official in exchange for the company winning a tender to provide the Africa’s largest economy with warships, according to a report published by Times of Israel.
The investigation was made public when police officers raided Israel Shipyards’ offices in the Port of Haifa and detained the officials for questioning under caution.
They are suspected of bribing a foreign public official, false registration in corporate documents, fraud, money laundering, tax offenses and breaking a law that regulates security-related exports.
The probe was carried out by the police’s Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit along with the Israel Tax Authority.
International law enforcement bodies have also been involved in the probe, the police statement added.
In 2017, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi revealed that the Federal Government had awarded a three-year contract for patrolling the nation’s maritime domain and training Nigerian military personnel on water security.
Several Nigerian maritime industry stakeholders have criticized the contract.
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