tv Doc Film - Bombs for the World - How Germany Profits from Wars and Crises Deutsche Welle May 13, 2018 5:15am-6:00am CEST
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here in northern germany the german armed forces the bundeswehr is holding it's open day. fun and games for the entire family say the organizes and a chance for the arms industry to show off its when especially for munitions johndroe and metal there is hardly a german weapons project that does not involve primatology by. the german company goes back a long way and this says one of its main locations like. five thousand kilometers away bombs are being dropped on civilians in a war that makes a mockery of international law and despite apparently strict export rules run matal is making a killing out of it. to know if a sister quite rapidly that if cities are expanding and they are all getting new
customers as well it will drop to the bottom this is an infamous game with dubious roles in terms of legality ethics and morality what would you call it out of the dutch attention or german technology and expertise are being used to deal in death we have to do all we can to stop this justify. every two years the british capital attracts military delegations from around the world they come to the london docklands to attend a d s e z i am. their countries may be at war with each other but here they can bury the hatchet while they buy new weapons. one of the biggest stands
at the trade fam belongs to ron metar germany's leading arms manufacturing. company sells three billion euros worth of military equipment tanks cannons simulation systems guns and ammunition. shall most for mortar launchers artillery guns tanks and ordnance on display like precious museum exhibits looking so shiny and pretty that an observer could forget that these instruments of dad. many of those inside all familiar with this man on the outside andrew feinstein international arms trade expert and former south african parliamentarian he's not allowed in fortunately my name is well known. and so i've never granted accreditation to come inside. since he uncovered a huge arms scandal in his country has been operating from london for his own safety his research also focuses on german arms exports plays
a role through the export of weapons especially into regions that are unstable where there is conflict where there is repression. most obviously to day the middle east and plays a role in ensuring that those conflicts are remarkably. like the campaign in yemen it was originally touted as a short aerial intervention and led by saudi arabia to defeat the militias who were allegedly terrorizing the country. more than a thousand days later there's been a bomb schools hospitals in residential areas they destroyed infrastructure and apparently aimed to starve the country into submission it's a war that. claimed thousands of lives and led to a humanitarian catastrophe. going by the book the german arms industry should have nothing to do with this war.
so i'd say less but was told for example it is forbidden by german law to export arms to countries where they can be used to disturb the peace. as the german security and defense industry we completely accept that it's all for titles or sleaze for. but there are ways and means to turn a profit that all the same one of those ways is by an island in the mediterranean familiar to many germans as a holiday destination. motto pilly is one of saddam is best known politicians he was regional president before he was elected to the italian parliament and run a politician who conducts
a lot of his research personally including research into ryan met top. it all began just over two years ago when he got a tip off that something incredible was happening at kalyani apple where planes full of vacationers land and take off. that these days this area here was full of bombs it was quite a show of course the people who saw it got excited that the countless bombs being loaded onto a cargo plane demanded a crisis for them the moment that he got they were out of. the cell photos of the operation the weapons of war being loaded up next to the tourist carriers. u.s. general purpose bombs from the mach eighty series being loaded onto a plane belonging to silk way and azerbaijani and one that specializes in
transporting weapons to crisis hit regions. what was going on. when he got his boss that the only answer i got was from the operators of the airport people you know who said that all the flights were authorized but chief no further details. i asked the same question in parliament and was told the same thing that isn't that it but the flights were authorized. this was official confirmation that bombs were being transported. but. the bombs are assembled here in rural som dania about forty five kilometers west of collier county. in a valley near the town of goma is no less is an unassuming looking factory that makes bombs by the thousands. it belongs to a company called wm italia the abbreviation stands for rhine mittal weapon and munition and it is
a one hundred percent subsidiary of german arms manufacturer run mittal. but it got the days this is a german factory on italian territory that makes a deadly product. bombs that are sold all over the world by a measurement here germany is exploiting it disadvantaged area. with its high unemployment. arms are being manufactured for huge profit that that brute added not is what is happening in this area. when it gets to the course of that he thought. but where of the bombs made by iran mittal insaan dinny and deployed in twenty fifteen an employee of the ngo human rights watch snapped these photographs of bomb components. they were found in sabah in northern yemen city with a population of fifty thousand shortly after a saudi bombing raid. the bomb but as
a code number that indicates the type of bomb a month and its origin. the italian island of sardinia. when queried ryan mittal in just a little fed mention that the n.s.a. encode thirteen twenty five fifteen one five fifty eight twenty full indicates that it was made by wm italia gradually a coherent picture is emerging he seems just request of ha obviously lots of people said nothing yeah though first the government in rome. then the regional government and anyone else who knew what was going on. because factory was always used to make explosives but they were used for civilian purposes ok the plant used to supply the local mines that once existed here in sardinia. but at some stage the factory was
repurposed more or less secretly on a. quest screwed up that. central been in may twenty seventeen protesters take to the streets to do. demonstrate against ryan metal as it holds its annual shareholders meeting. but despite not let's be clear i never buy shares in ryan mattel to make a profit is guilty of complicity with arms exports and with murder throughout the world they. come out oh major lotto works for an italian foundation he is part of a network that buys run metal shands not for the dividend but to ask difficult questions at shareholder meetings he has heard that ryan mittal plans to invest heavily in its factory in sa to india. to me to get a frog these and i would like to ask why these facilities are being expanded in domus not us. we read that there is going to be
a new testing range we don't understand exactly what is going on what is being tested and what for which weapons. where these weapons being exported to. these have often exposed to it. that previous annual meetings of rye mental photographs were allowed these are from twenty fifteen. they show rahmatullah chairman baca and behind him the other directors and supervisory board members now photos are prohibited when the chairman gets up to talk business his message to this meeting all the trends point to growth especially for rye matal defense the weapons. sales of almost three billion euros in twenty sixteen fourteen percent year on year growth and the new order for munitions to the tune of four hundred million euros.
the destination is in one of the most conflict torn regions in the world the middle east and north africa right mittal won't say exactly which country has played. the order. be fun what did you make of the numbers. at the moment the company is in good shape and it was all very correct and democratic perfect but not good to do well the dividend is not bad at all it's certainly better than the interest the local bank pays it doesn't although you the palms may buy rahmatullah being used in yemen at least a dozen other maybe. that's the wrong question if bombs are being dropped there it's not right mattel dropping them to the powers the shareholders meeting it was good good but what did you like in particular have to go the whole atmosphere the whole package because i'm tight what did you make of the numbers they presented. yes promising sorry i have to guess my boss at a time was does it bother you the problems made by rahmatullah being dropped in
yemen. does not everything is put to the right use but there are positives to buy for now qantas. moment gelato now has confirmation that the plantain saab genius is growing in importance for run mittal. you saw going to but you know they answered some of our questions about plans to expand the plant and don't most know of us so i'm just doctors they said they would invest seventeen to twenty million euros in two thousand and seventeen and the same again in two thousand and eighteen. also we don't. know about is a small town with high unemployment and the dwindling population business is booming for one fun run mentalist bomb factory.
it is dramatic this is a business based on death. the more people are killed the more weapons are bought and the more you kill the more weapons you need it's. perverse mechanism that a democratic state should not tolerate neither for moral nor economic reasons. but how come this small town in southern sardinia play such a big role in the international arms trade let's take a look at a complicated contract from twenty twelve that formed the basis for a major export do. the saudi arabian defense ministry orders baum's from us from raytheon its british subsidiary subcontracts the rye mattel subsidiary w.-m. italia to produce them contract is worth more than sixty three million euros. the order was delivered from dormice nov us to jeddah islamic seaport from where it was
taken to the end customer the royal saudi air force this contract ran until mid twenty seventeen and covered thousands of m.k. eighty three bomb. since the start of the saudi at campaign in yemen in twenty fifteen at the very latest it is being doubtful whether the arms exports are in line with italian law. this is the deep vein these are sales to a country at war to a conflict that has been condemned by the united nations on numerous occasions the italian constitution which condemns war and a law on arms exports totally prohibit this kind of export. how is it possible for ryan metal to export bombs from sandton into saudi arabia nonetheless
when asked the italian defense minister said it had nothing to do with. what he's or not italian bonds they are covered by a contract signed by a us firm that subcontracted to. that company has factories in italy. numerous written queries to the italian government went. who then is responsible for the bombs exported by germany's biggest manufacturer. in berlin the federal security council meets in secret to decide what. can go ahead . and important ministers bases its decisions on the government's political principles which say supplying weapons of war shall not be approved to countries involved in. or when there is a danger of such a conflict breaking out. a flexible principle as the latest figures show twenty
seventeen the german government did indeed approve exports to some countries that don't meet the requirements german companies exporting nations worth four hundred twenty eight million euros to egypt two hundred forty nine million euros worth to saudi arabia two hundred fourteen million to the united arab emirates in the late one nine hundred eighty s. when helmut kohl was chancellor his defense minister of the christian democratic union was a member of the federal security council professor knows the legal and political ramifications of exports. it's a grey area here's one example. to saudi arabia intended for police border controls that has nothing to do with the military or military purposes however if the intention is to deploy them for military purposes they do need approval
according to legislation governing the weapons of war in other words it's a grey area. grey area the should be no question about expo. to saudi arabia for the war in yemen. arms can be used or intended for use in wars of aggression or for measures that would disturb the peace as the law stipulates then the federal german government is duty bound to refuse to approve their export time the german economic ministry has to say about the bomb sold by iran mittal the matter you describe the assumption that the export of arms took place from italy in this regard german law pertains to sports from germany very easy for the german. these particular munitions and equipment to being produced in italy their responsibility of the to regulate the italian. and therefore.
that the. kingdom and it is in this way that the global trade in weapons remains less regulated than the global trade. some deals were approved by neither the italian nor the german government run the town has found another way around the regulations this time by south africa. since the days of apartheid the country has had a powerful arms industry with close ties to politicians. one of the few politicians who lost critical questions about this is copus marais of the opposition party democratic alliance in twenty sixteen he learned that an entire turnkey arms factory had been exported to saudi arabia. we were concerned that you know
sets saudi arabia has got a good record in terms of human rights and suppression of human rights especially women and then you know the perception that they are supporting isis and even some rebel forces in yemen and other countries it is in conflict zones and we were concerned that whatever gets manufactured the we you know can be used directly or in directly in those in those areas the government did not respond to questions about reportedly unchecked use of the arms factory which added to my raise concern. that we're not convinced at all i think as i've stated in the in a previous in earlier that being a anything can be used in sometimes in the future so it is how the company now that makes it even more difficult to monitor and control because they would probably i
suspect but be doing is not good nothing to do with you we don't use your products to manufacture anything. despite the fact that the original plant. it was manufactured and installed by us for the. fifty kilometers east of cape town on the way to the somerset west township is the headquarters of the company that built the factory it's a huge complex with tight security a site of national strategic importance which is why filming is actually prohibited to watch trans bad a familiar blue logo pattern of rime atop this branch is called the now munition audi m m presents itself as a premium manufacturing. precision. famous. battle tested you see where every detail.
with its mission critical there is no. compromise. this is with the middle should stay in. their ultimate. some transmissions for when you choose little to no munition audi aim is mainly an export driven company and they are one of the most successful companies into africa they have got a tenth of. every year they employ over two thousand people and they all crying at. the factories all even running double shifts because they're also busy. one of. success stories on the defense industry
side of. the story began a decade ago when run motown started a joint venture with the state run south african company denounce it. in two thousand and eight two. joint african danell and germany's run matal defense efficiency and quality. was there. the whole. africa's military infrastructure is constantly. scandal so its origin. and its practices since then have remained criminal to be in partnership with a company that is a state owned enterprise in south africa means that you are effectively
engaging in the corruption that is taking place in the south african state today. we are back in northern germany in a village of three thousand five hundred residents one to loose is the. business with bombs and bullets it's also home to the biggest shooting range in europe this is where the subsidiary which owns the plant in south africa is headquartered. people who like to talk about. dealings abroad. as the town mayor it's my job to look after the interests of the municipality of suit and we are very happy to have a company like ryan with so many jobs. for. the economic factor for our community is very important. to his the matter of
to which belongs i'm the chairman of the local council agree that activities already questioned. one and i'm afraid i cannot help you on that i have very very rarely hear criticism and disgust but there is one place in known to loose where does come in for criticism the local church one sunday in june the lutheran churches peace commissioner has come to on to list to lend his support to the local pastor. and also i mean outsider i've just come from hanover tradition for the local parish pastor it's a sensitive issue because many in his community work there. we have to make clear that we have a position against this. that will be the challenge of today's service without rejecting the people themselves going to mention.
i know tolbert nailed to the cross the death like piece itself sacrificed sold nailed to the cross. yes we christians are always good and devout to keep our heads down and stay out of trouble that's the best way to get through life one of the suspects to see i have a lot of respect for anyone attending today's service it is difficult for the parish pastor so it is difficult because many people i don't know if they are here today rely on the factory for a living still if we think something is wrong we must draw the consequences of consequences. that's easier said than done for many people in a town that has been producing alms for nearly one hundred twenty years and where the church until the one nine hundred ninety s. was called the soldiers memorial church. your feelings came here today the decision
to rename this church the peace church didn't go down well with everyone is i mean there were ryan mattel employees who left the church because of it. period the local christian democrats say the church's position is not their business. and even as a dick could visit him and meet done in my opinion it's the church's business this is the for us it's important to have a strong economy here and to creating keep jobs to encourage people to live here in vienna volumes in the folk home here for all the town of going to loose is proud of this company. and as long as it obeys the law and we don't have a problem with it as i listen because you know i'm hate. to pull them out of. the us based didn't want to lose as a majority stake in the plant in somerset west what he produces that is covered by south africa. in theory south africa has very
tough regulations on what can be exported and imported and it is first keep track of all the items that go in and out of the country but the problem with that is that there is no record at all of things like factories and manufacturing facilities that all exported so we've seen. two to which countries are exporting. nation factories exporting entire factories is an important aspect of audio m's business strategy. impressive product called for you includes the comprehensive artillery suite in the world we also empower our clients with ten key client engineering solutions. in all run mittal danelle munitions says it has exported
a total of thirty nine arms factories the german boss of the rhine metal subsidiary handles the fact that these factories allow clients to make their own weapons. but it is hard to find out who the customers being. africa actually are. what is known is that the ryan metal subsidiary was involved in the construction of a factory in the united arab emirates and the one in saudi arabia. a group of syrian hackers released confidential documents including a secret document on a bid for a filling plant each shift was to produce hundreds of shells and mortars as well as bombs of the types m k eighty two m k eighty four and warheads for launch missiles . the document appears real with a trove of technical details and plans for
a turnkey factory. it's incredibly dangerous because if a german company is not controlling production how do they know what being it hit in this production process they've effectively sold the production process. they're effectively saying especially if it's into a region like the middle east they're effectively saying do what you want. via santini and south africa germany's run matal is arming the military coalition in yemen with bombs from the mediterranean and entire factories from cape town saudi arabia united arab emirates are among the customers and egypt as we discovered where an arms factory is on the completion. of a country where hopes for democracy after the arab spring were put down with guns about tom's went dissidents simply disappear. where the military has seized back
power and general abdel fattah el-sisi rules with an iron fist. a few defeats especially in the city as the man in charge of egypt is mr el-sisi who many compatriots say is even worse than mubarak egypt is also taking part in the yemen war by helping with marine patrols i don't think we should accept this so it's effectively undermining south africa's democracy at the same time as being able to get weapons into destinations that might be completely undemocratic that might be engaged in conflicts. we wanted to ask about the allegations and find out about all the other factories but nobody wanted to talk with german media insisting that it was a south african company but it belongs to a german company flies a german flag at the factory gate and has
a german box name nor that shows. the rhyme metal headquarters in was also unwilling to tell us what countries its foreign subsidiaries export to the press department issued a statement saying. exports by r.d.m. from south africa carry. out in accordance with the country's laws we cannot comment on possible customer relations for reasons of competition and in part due to contractual obligations. seems to use its foreign activities to circumvent german regulations we spoke to the industry federation. of the federation of the german security and defense industry. our first priority is german arms exports which keeps us busy and will do so in the future. we have issues with the previous government and we expect to have them with the next while. in other countries where companies operate either alone or as part of joint ventures have other rules i
can't tell from here whether they exploit that. is also president of the federation he declined several invitations to take part in an interview for this report. a presentation on the strategic targets of the arms of munitions division reveals the thinking behind the overseas activities one stated goal is to free the company from german export regulations and ensure profitability the two key locations are. projected to reach the one hundred million euro mark in the medium term and south africa. during crease annual sales to two hundred fifty million euros. toward the business of death is growing and the fact that it's not happening here that the war start taking place somewhere else does not make it any better everyone
on this planet has to live with the consequences of these wars while leaders talk of fences and walls i find that unacceptable and it must be stopped. in this township in the a me. the synergy of the run mentality now munition plant investment from germany is most welcome in the battle with massive unemployment. and it is critically important that we have to look at new ways to create jobs. but obviously the sustainable way that is what run matal promises in south africa as it plays the nice alms john but does something for poor communities equipping schools even donating chemistry sets. it will even get children to be able to do hands on experiments and solve instead of just looking at the pictures and it takes an
expecting them to actually understand when it's a practical experiment. very practical and you have the frustrations if you like to read the same things i'd like to see thank you to the combined of the brain i would appreciate what they've done for us we're going to stage many things in the conflict we now everything is going to be is we're going to achieve results before we see things you think if there's a match we will be with you. in the years to come. brian mattel will spend a tiny percentage of the profits they're making in south africa on improving their public image the reality is. products that. africa. in many parts of including the middle east.
the company does not appear to have any scruples about. in an armed conflict. and its allies in the yemeni factories it seems the company also wants to make money arch enemy iran which is on the other side in the war in yemen the united nations security council block the sale of air defense missiles from south africa called. supplies the propellant. we wanted to find. leaders have to say about the country's largest manufacturer trying to evade german laws. every single member of the federal security council from the last legislature for an interview it's the committee that decides. which is being circumvented by tom germany's leading politicians were not willing to
comment on the issue. the same goes for those who moved from politics to. form development minister. is now the company's chief. defense minister. recently joined the royal supervisor. would give us an interview . credibly government because they play a role in. defense. policy and. they would claim in their public relations. which they treated differently to most other private companies. frank from germany's financial hub is where stocks are listed the share price has shot up
thanks to the money made by south africa and saw gania. in january twenty seventh team. worth just on the sixty five euros each climbing to almost ninety by media and almost one hundred ten euros by the end of the year that's a rise of more than seventy percent within a year. many analysts recommend investing in. its like this more conflict equals a greater need for security more defense expenditure this is indeed that's the change in the legal. and in general the arms companies in different ways depending on what's in demand will profit from that. moshe holders probably don't even know that they profit when ryan mittal sells
bombs to crisis regions investors with money in the day confound for example the fund which belongs to germany's banks is one of the biggest shareholders of bryan mittal equity or people with money in early on slow bill investors one major fund did recently decide to divest its run metal shafts. an exception. as long as the majority of investors aren't interested it will only play a minor role for the share price. was a way out friday may be allowed but people keep on investing in it. because it's global maybe the state has to intervene it will. so. we joined parliamentarian mao to be on his way to collieries contain a pole in search of sardinia as ron paul says he is from clues as to who ordered
four hundred eleven million euros worth of munitions from ryan metals italian subsidiary w.-m. italia saudi arabia. essential he changed their strategy they used to fly the bombs out now the ships. we knew that this was the best place from which to take photos of the secret operations with no ban on cameras. from here we recorded what actually happened that we usually eighteen containers a month were loaded up with one thousand to one thousand five hundred bombs maybe. well that was. fundamental meant that they were mainly transported by saudi arabian ships three or
four belonging to the battery shipping company or not it was a dock and load up the saudis evidently decided to run the transport themselves so the decision fired. the military coalition in yemen needs a lot of bombs by the end of twenty seventeen saudi arabia and its allies had flown more than fifteen thousand air raids according to international experts almost a third of those raids that civilian targets. it's a profitable war even for small investors with shares in germany's biggest arms manufacturer a company that breaks free of german law that manufactures in countries with laxer export rules that finds ways to sell its austin all of destruction in crisis regions with no questions asked is this something society and politicians just have to accept in this era of globalization no say legal experts and analysts at the
german parliament the bundestag recently concluded that a law could stipulate that german authorities must give their approval if german citizens abroad help develop or produce arms such a law would at least make it more difficult. but there is no majority for a step like that in the bundestag. to now run metals business is completely within the law or in germany a country that prides itself on its lofty principles. but
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