France - Taiwan

French company must repay kickbacks

AFP/Valery Hache

The French defence company Thales on Thursday lost its appeal against a ruling that it should pay damages of 630 million euros over the controversial sale of French frigates in 1991.


The Paris court of appeal upheld a ruling made in 2010 by the International Court of Arbitration, that Thales should repay the Taiwanese navy money which was given to intermediaries to secure the sale of the six Lafayette class frigates.

The commissions were in breach of a contract banning the use of intermediaries.

A former French foreign minister has claimed that around 345,000 euros was paid by the company Thomson-CSF (now Thalys) as a "sweetener" because the ships did not strictly meet Taiwan's requirements.

The frigates to Taiwan affair has spawned numerous political and corruption scandals, both in France and Taiwan, while eight people involved in the contract have died in unusual circumstances.


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