Colombia’s government bought missiles for its navy from a South Korean company two days after two of the company’s executives were arrested for fraud, local media reported Thursday.
Colombia’s government bought 16 missiles for four naval frigates from the South Korean company, LIG Next One, on November 23, reportedly two days after two of the company’s top executives were arrested for fraud, according to La FM radio.
The top executives of the aerospace and defense company, which happens to be one of Colombia’s main weapons providers, had arrest warrants issued against them on November 22 charging them with “manipulating account records” worth hundreds of millions of dollars, reported newspaper Korea Times.
Colombia’s ambassador to South Korea told newspaper El Espectador that he was unaware of the signing of the arms contract but admitted that LIG is one of the largest providers of weapons in Latin America.
Colombia’s Defense Minister also told El Espectador that although the $90 million contract was signed without Colombia’s knowledge of the pending criminal charges, the transaction has yet to be finalized.
“We have to sit down and consider what path we will take in connection with the signing of the contract, which has warranty policies. The ultimate guarantor of this agreement is the South Korean government. We have not paid a single penny of contract and it has not yet been perfectly budgeted, it has not been registered and is suspended until we receive an explanation from the government of [South Korea],” the Defense Minister stated.