Read the new CORRECTIV investigation: The President and the Arms Dealer.
Lebanese businessman Ahmad El Husseini has long helped the German arms industry win business in the Middle East.
CORRECTIV have now uncovered that he was involved in brokering a large ammunitions package, which shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp purchased from another German defence company, Rheinmetall – except that Mr. El Husseini acted as a middle man with an unclear role.
At the end of a dubious flow of money via Singapore and Abu Dhabi, about 50 million euros never arrived at Rheinmetall and is now disputed.
Further, CORRECTIV found that Mr. El Husseini also maintained excellent contacts among some German politicians. And he sent expensive wine hampers to them, including the current German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. At the time of the gifts, Steinmeier was foreign minister and MP.
Steinmeier was involved in the German government's decision to approve the export of two frigates to Algeria – for which Mr. El Husseini brokered the ammunition.
There is nothing to suggest that the wine hampers influenced any decisions (and that would be hard to imagine), but questions remain.
Read the new investigation here