Sri Lanka builds ten Dvoras with German engines
[TamilNet, Monday, 23 May 2005, 18:18 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Navy is building ten new Israeli-designed Dvora gunboats using German-built engines, Tamil press reports said this week. But allegations of kickbacks being received in the purchase of the engines have surfaced recently, the Virakesari reported last week.
“The Sri Lanka navy purchased 10 engines for Dvora-class boats from Germany through Colombo Dockyards Ltd and work is already underway on building the hulls for these engines,” the paper said.
The Israeli-designed Dvoras and the more heavily armed and powerful Super-dvoras comprise the attack capability of the Sri Lanka Navy.
Israel is known to re-export German components to states for which German companies would not receive an export licence directly, according to the Berlin Information-centre for Transatlantic Security (BITS).
Sri Lanka, China and Turkey are some of the countries to have benefited from the Israeli handover, BITS said.
Several SuperDvoras and Shaldag gunboats received by Sri Lanka in 1995 and 1996, when the last round of fighting with the LTTE had erupted, are powered by German engines routed through Israel, BITS said.
News is also emerging of senior Sri Lankan officials receiving large sums in broker fees during the latest purchase of the German engines for the Navy,” the paper also said.
Each boat is being built at a cost of Rs 6 million. But the broker fee per engine is reportedly in the region of Rs 1 million, the paper said, adding that senior naval officers have shared the commission.