In 1965, the United States and the UK were competing to sell war planes to Saudi Arabia. In order to get the lucrative contract, a « commission » had to be paid to members of the Saudi government.
The history of this colossal deal is recounted in a 1999 BBC documentary, The Mayfair Set.Four Stories about the Rise of Business and the Decline of Political Power. The first episode is titledWho Pays Wins.
The voice over images of the Queen of England and the Saudi King shaking hands and parading the streets of London to celebrate the historic deal explains: “December 1965, the Saudis announced they would buy the British planes. The bribes had worked. It was the biggest export dealing in Britain’s history and King Faizal came on a state visit to celebrate.“
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