Very interesting thread on Sic Semper Tyrannis about the US investigation into BAE:
the biggest aspect of the BAE/"Al Yamamah" story is
the offshore fund. To summarize: BAE delivered about $40 billion in
arms and services to Saudi Arabia. BAE padded the bills substantially,
up to nearly $80 billion. The pad was used, in part, to bribe Saudi
officials who helped swing the deal, including Bandar and Prince Turki
bin-Khaled, a top official of the Saudi Ministry of Defense. That part
is fully detailed in the Guardian and other British coverage of the BAE
scandal, going back three or four years. What is not covered in the
British press is the fact that Saudi Arabia paid for the arms with oil.
The oil was sold on the spot market, and this generated an estimated
(in current dollars) $160 billion in cash. I am told by former U.S.
Treasury Department officials that the funds generated from the oil
sales, after BAE got their cut, went into offshore bank accounts.
As Jamie notes at Blood and Treasure there's not a lot of evidence offered, but the allegation about the oil fund has come up before. In his book In the Public Interest, the former chairman of Astra, Gerald James, highlights a partially blacked out memo that was sent to Jeff Rooker MP, which suggested some of the funds found their way to the Conservative Party.