December 20, 2018
Elected Officials and Think Tank Leaders Call on US Congress and the Justice Department to Investigate Croatia’s Billion Dollar Corruption Scheme to Buy 30-Year-Old American Fighter Jets From Israel
WASHINGTON, DC — Elected officials and think tank leaders co-signed a letter to members of the US Congress and the Justice Department, calling for an investigation into serious concerns of a billion dollar corruption scheme pushed by Croatia’s government to purchase 30-year-old American fighter jets from Israel. US fighter jets were given to Israel free of charge as part of the Peace Marble program. The initial co-signers of the letter include elected officials Senator Dick Black from the Commonwealth of Virginia and former prosecutor with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and head of the Army’s Criminal Law Division at the Pentagon, David LaRock, Delegate, Commonwealth of Virginia and leadership board members from the US-based think tank International Leaders Summit, Natasha Srdoc, Dr. Sampat S. Shivangi, Chris Edmonds and Joel Anand Samy. The proposed sale of the fighter planes fitted with Israeli parts and technology requires US Congressional authorization by the end of December 2018.
The Request for Investigation calls for determining whether there are elements of corruption, fraud and collusion, and whether this transaction sabotages US foreign policy and national security, as well as NATO defense goals. Insuring transparency and level-playing field in military procurement of a NATO country, guarantees the best results for the defense of the alliance and reduces the burden of American taxpayers who are the largest contributors to the NATO alliance.
“It appears that Croatia is buying 30-year-old planes for the purpose of maintenance and repair, which will benefit Croatia’s corrupt government,” said Natasha Srdoc, co-founder, International Leaders Summit. “Croatia’s opaque tender has to be investigated for corruption and conflict of interest. Croatia became a NATO member in 2009, despite evidences of rampant high-level corruption and failing to fulfill the rule of law criterion of NATO’s charter. Croatia’s corrupt practices increase instability within NATO’s alliance, reduce defense capabilities and, if left unaddressed, lead to further waste and fraud.”
While Croatia’s defense spending was at 1.4% of GDP in 2015, less than NATO’s required 2%, its corrupt politicians and their private partners in crime managed to take $35 billion out of the country in illicit financial outflows via crime, corruption and tax evasion (2005-2014), amounting to 73% of its 2015 GDP. Croatia lies on the Balkan heroin trafficking route, which brings in more than $28 billion in proceeds annually, financing Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and ISIS. The co-existence of organized crime and political corruption in Croatia are detrimental to the United States, Israel, and Western Europe’s NATO members.
For editors and journalists – Letter to US Congress:
Serious Concerns: $1 Billion Corruption Scheme, Security Risk, Sabotaging US Foreign Policy and NATO’s Defense Goals.
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