Revealing the Mystery: The Controversial Sale of Leopard 1 A5 Tanks – Exclusive Report

2023-08-26 20:39:56

The mystery deepens in the case of the Leopard 1 A5 tanks stored in Italy. The Swiss company Ruag wanted to sell them to Germany, which would have sent them to Ukraine. But according to a Tages-Anzeiger survey published on Saturday, some of these tanks would have already been sold four years ago for a ridiculous price.

In 2019, Ruag sold 25 Leopard 1 tanks to a Bavarian company, Global Logistics Support GmbH (GLS). The company only paid around 12,500 francs for these 25 tanks, i.e. a unit price of 500 francs.

It is precisely these tanks that the armament group in the hands of the Confederation wanted, until recently, to send indirectly to Ukraine by selling them to another German company, Rheinmetall, which the Federal Council refused two months.

>> Read regarding it: The Federal Council refuses Ruag the re-export of Leopard 1 A5 tanks

External investigation opened

While on Monday, the head of the army Viola Amherd announced an external investigation into this sale, the revelations of the Tages-Anzeiger investigation published on Saturday surprised the political world.

Fabien Fivaz, Ecologist National Councilor (NE) and member of the Security Policy Commission, is surprised: “What surprises me the most is that Ruag is not aware that when they sign a contract with Rheinmetall for all the tanks, 25 have already been sold.”

Tanks for peanuts

Another surprise, Ruag would have sold the 25 tanks at 500 francs each, while the Swiss company had bought them at more than 43,000 francs per piece three years earlier. A “bad deal”, headlines the Tages-Anzeiger.

On the right, we wonder regarding the leaders of Ruag. Olivier Français, adviser to the States and member of the PLR ​​(VD), reacts in the 7:30 p.m. of the RTS: “Obviously, there is a problem at the level of governance, and it can go back to the Board of Directors, since we feel very well that these weapons of war cannot be sold without going through a certain process. So there is a very, very big unease within Ruag”.

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On the left, there is already a demand for greater political control of Ruag. Pierre-Alain Fridez, National Socialist Councilor (JU), thinks that “the politician should have a much clearer, much more precise look at the actions of this company.”

Member of the management committee of the Council of States, Charles Juillard (Le Centre/JU), warns that “Ruag will have to explain himself to the Commission, the Department will have to explain himself and incidentally the Federal Council in relation to the objectives he has set”.

GLS claims its tanks

The GLS company did not react to last-minute requests from the Tages-Anzeiger. She did, however, send a statement to the newspaper in which she stressed her right to 25 of the tanks parked in northern Italy.

According to the Tages-Anzeiger once more, the GLS had only communicated its ownership rights to the 25 leopards to Ruag last week, via a law firm. Ruag’s board of directors would therefore have called a special meeting last Sunday. He would have decided to open an investigation into the events.

TV Subject: Daniel Bachmann, Nicolas Rossé

Adaptation web: Julien Furrer

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