Corruption left missing Argentine sub with wrong kit

Corruption left missing Argentine sub with wrong kit

Navy personnel were accused in an investigation of purchasing batteries to benefit equipment providers

Navy personnel were accused in an investigation of purchasing batteries to benefit  equipment providers

Batteries bought to refit the submarine San Juan that went missing off the coast of  Argentina on November 15 did not meet specifications, according to an investigation into  repairs by the country’s defence ministry.

There are suspicions that a faulty battery in the ageing boat may have exploded  underwater, or released explosive hydrogen, with catastrophic consequences when contact  was lost north of the Falkland Islands.

The investigation in 2015 / 16 is understood to have found that navy p ersonnel had been  “involved in illicit conduct” by purchasing batteries to benefit certain equipment providers,  and in doing so violated safety standards and regulations, according to documents seen by  La Nacion newspaper.

Argentina’s national auditing office also questioned the purchase in May 2016, according to  La Nacion.

A naval spokesman said at the weekend that the submarine’s operating system had been  checked two days before it set sail on the routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southernmost tip of S outh America, with 44 crew.

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