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CASE 06 GLOBAL NET: »Deadly Walls. How arms companies earn billions with arms supplies and border security systems - and what we can do about it«


Arms manufacturers - such as Airbus-Group SE, BAE Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Leonardo SpA, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rheinmetall AG, Rockwell Collins Inc. or the Thales Group – scrupulously export arms to regions of war and conflict. The weapons produced by these corporations are used to fire at and displace countless people. However, the escape routes for these refugees are often cut of by murderous walls in America, the Middle East or northern Africa. The arms exporting companies make a double profit: first they sell the arms that launch displacement, and the then they contribute to building high-tech border security systems. In their report, the authors develop concrete options for action to counter the arms trade and support migrants.


Authors: Wolfgang Landgraeber, Eugenia Lüttmann-Valencia, Jürgen Grässlin

Publication: Summer 2020 in English, Spanish and German in a long version; short versions in several additional languages.

CASE 05 GLOBAL NET: »Corruption in the Arms Trade on the Example of the Italian arms manufacturer Leonardo S.p.A.«


This report documents three exemplary cases in which the leading Italian arms maker Leonardo S.p.A., or rather their former subsidiary AgustaWestland, secured arms deals for the company through corrupt intermediaries and agents. The first example details the sale of Wildcat-Helicopters to the South-Korean military. An additional batch of Helicopters sold to the Indian armed forces was meant to primarily transport members of the Indian government, as research has shown. The third case is set in Panama, to whose government Leonardo has sold surveillance technology using substantial bribes to push the deal through. These are not isolated cases: corruption systematically occurs in similar ways in arms deals across the world. The report was initially researched by the British organization ShadowWorldInvestigations, which closely collaborates with GN-STAT.


Authors: Andrew Feinstein and Helmut Lohrer

Publication: January/February 2020 in English, Spanish and German in the long version; short versions available in several additional languages, i.a Russian and Korean.


For the Long Version Case 05 in English

For the Short Version Case 05 in English

CASE 04 GLOBAL NET: »The illegal Colombia deal - how SIG Sauer illegally exported more than 38,000 pistols to the Colombian civil war (from 2009 to 2011) via the American SIG Sauer Inc. in the USA«


The export of tens of thousands of SIG pistols from Germany to the United States was perfectly legal. However, more than 38,000 of these weapons were illegally transferred from the United States to Columbia. The illegal Colombia deal was exposed by the criminal complaint filed by Paul Russmann and Jürgen Grässlin in July 2014 for the German »Outcry« campaign to stop the arms trade. In spring 2019, the Kiel Regional Court sentenced leading SIG Sauer managers from the USA and Germany to suspended prison sentences and fined the company for around 11 million Euros. SIG Sauer has not accepted the verdict and filed and appeal with the German constitutional court.


Authors: Jürgen Grässlin, Ruth Rohde

Publication: Fall 2019 in English, Spanish and German in the long version; short versions are available in several additional languages


For the Long Version Case 04 in English

CASE 03 GLOBAL NET: »High-tech for authoritarians - How human rights are violated with Israeli weapons«


Israel often acts as an agent of the United States in Middle Eastern politics, for example against Iran. For this purpose, they supply i.a. reconnaissance technology and weapons for tactical attacks (e.g. armed drones) against armed Islamist groups. Following the principle »The enemy of my enemy is my friend«, the Israeli government has approved arms exports to almost any country that could be seen as an enemy of Israel’s enemies. In their manufacturing of arms they have occupied global leadership position in the development of several niche products, such as drones and electronic and border security technology. Human rights activists as well as critical segments of the Israeli public have objected that the reconnaissance technology and arms exported for counterinsurgency operations have been directed against civilians in many recipient countries such as Azerbaijan or Rwanda. They are further used by Israel itself in the Westbank and Gaza, where the weapons are »tested« on Palestinians.


Authors: Shir Hever and Wolfgang Landgraeber

Publication: Spring 2019 in English, Spanish and German long version; as a short version in several additional languages


For the Long Version Case 03 in English

For the Short Version Case 03 in English

CASE 02 GLOBAL NET: »The illegal Mexico deal - the exports of thousands and thousands of G36 assault rifles from Heckler & Koch to Mexican regions of conflict (from 2006 to 2009)«


In 2010 the German activist Jürgen Grässlin and his lawyer Holger Rothbauer filed a criminal complaint against Heckler & Koch (H&K) following extensive research and whistleblower testimony. Activists and prosecutors were able to prove that 4702 type G36 assault rifles were illegally taken to forbidden provinces suffering from raging conflict in Mexico. Since then, corrupt armed security forces and drug cartels have been using the G36 for their murderous activities. During the criminal investigation conducted by local German prosecutors and the private consultancy firm KPMG, hired by H&K, thousands of emails concerning the company’s internal communication on the Mexico deal, also regarding the H&K leadership, went missing. Finally, two former H&K employees were convicted and received suspended sentences while the company was fined 3.7 million Euros. It was the first time in the 70 years of company history that the company could be convicted for illegal arms sales. H&K has not accepted the verdict and filed an appeal with the German constitutional court.


Authors: Jürgen Grässlin and Eugenia Lüttmann-Valencia

Publication: Fall 2018 (updated since then) in English, Spanish and German in the long version; in several additional languages in a short version.


For the Long Version Case 02 in English

For Trial Observation Case 02 in English

CASE 01 GLOBAL NET: »German arms exports for genocide: Mauser rifles and Krupp cannons used in the genocide of Armenians by Ottoman armed forces (1895 - 1915)«


In 1915, regular Turkish troops, members of the »Gendarma«, and sometimes also German officers were involved in almost all actions in the systematic genocide of more than one million Armenians. Most of the aggressors were armed with Mauser rifles or carbines, manufactured in the German town Oberndorf am Neckar.  Furthermore, hundreds of Krupp cannons were in use, for example in the attack on the Musa Dagh Mountain, previously occupied by the Armeniens. Weapons exported from Germany provided the material basis for the genocide, German officers contributed to its ideological foundation.

Authors: Basic text by Wolfgang Landgraeber, supplemented by contributions by Otfried Nassauer, Barnhard Trautvetter and Helmut Lohrer


Publication: Spring 2018 in English, Spanish and German in the long version; in the short version in several additional languages including Armenian, Turkish and Kurdish.


For the Long Version Case 01 in English

For the Short Version Case 01 in English




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