Forensic audit confirms multi-million fraud at arms manufacturer FN Herstal

An independent forensic audit has confirmed suspicions of fraud by a former employee of Belgian arms manufacturer FN Herstal. The embezzlement of millions of euros came to light in January 2023. 

In January, it was revealed that a former employee of FN Herstal's purchasing department had been embezzling millions of euros for years. ​ The irregularities came to light after an internal audit. The arms manufacturer, based in the Belgian city of Liege, is owned by the Walloon regional government and has a US subsidiary called FN America.

The Belgian arms manufacturer's management decided to commission an independent forensic audit, which confirmed earlier suspicions of a "complex fraudulent system" set up by the former employee. An analysis of samples "did not reveal any fraud other than the system discovered by FN Herstal in January 2023", FN Herstal added in a statement.

The forensic analysis proposes a number of recommendations "that should contribute to a relevant and meaningful strengthening of the policies that management has implemented in terms of governance and internal control", the company said. The arms manufacturer says it has drawn up an action plan to implement the recommendations. The plan will be implemented by the new head of internal audit, who will report to the board of directors and the executive committee. 

Specialised working groups will also be set up "to accelerate the process of sustainable strengthening of policies and controls within the company", FN said. For the time being, the company is not commenting further "in order to respect its confidentiality obligations and the secrecy of the ongoing investigation". FN Herstal is civil party in the former employee's embezzlement case. 



A HK G36 and a FN Herstal Scar SC at a cinema armory in La Courneuve, near Paris © THOMAS SAMSON / AFP


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