Heckler & Koch: Controversial Arms Exports

Saudi Arabia: In August 2011, the German media reported that Modern Industries Company (MIC), a Saudi government-owned arms company located in Al-Kharj, was exporting German G36 assault rifles, and thus violating German export laws. Heckler & Koch has licensed MIC to manufacture their G36 rifles. MIC has been showcasing the weapons at exhibitions like IDEX 2011. Santa Bárbara Sistemas in La Coruña, Spain, is also licensed to manufacture the G36. However German arms export regulations forbid companies from awarding licenses in order to outsource production of weapons.[1]

Mexico: In 2010, a German prosecutor investigated witness accounts and travel documents which suggested that weapons manufacturer H&K knowingly and purposefully delivered G36 rifles to four Mexican provinces suffering from ongoing human rights violations and political unrest: Chiapas, Chihuahua, Guerrero and Jalisco.[2] A fierce drug war is raging in Mexico. Over 30,000 people have been killed in recent years.

Libya: H&K was also under investigation following the discovery of its assault rifles in Georgia and Libya. Libyan rebels have undeniably used H&K G36 assault rifles in their struggle against dictator Muammar Gaddafi. However, H&K denies that it sold weapons to anyone in the embargoed country. H&K also said it can neither confirm nor deny German media reports alleging that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son visited the company’s headquarters in 2003.

Georgia: In 2008, the German TV program “Report Mainz” reveiled that Georgian special forces used H&K G36 rifles in their conflict with Russian troops. H&K claimed it would not export weapons to the Georgian conflict zone only after unsuccessfully seeking to obtain an export permit in 2005.[3]

[1] http://www.gdels.com/products/others_2.asp?id=1

http://dipbt.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/079/1707926.pdf

[2] http://www.swr.de/report/-/id=233454/nid=233454/did=7124626/ge0x00/

[3] http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/international/georgienheckler-und-koch-bestreitet-waffenlieferung/1304520.html

Case location
Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia


Affected topics
  • Controversial Weapons
Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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