Geo-tagged photographs of MK83 bombs with RWM Italia labelling in a building in Sa’dah, Yemen. (Ole Solvang/Human Rights Watch)
An exclusive investigation by reported.ly has traced the manufacture and shipping of bomb components from the European Union to the United Arab Emirates, and also discovered the use of bombs made by the European manufacturer in attacks by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, where potentially unlawful civilian deaths have been documented.
The Germany-based manufacturer of the bomb components, Rheinmetall AG, is a publicly traded company whose major shareholders have included a host of US financial firms, as well as the New York state pension fund, Virginia’s 529 college savings program and the sovereign pension fund of Norway.
Through their investments in Rhinemetall, these institutions are profiting off the sale of bombs currently being dropped on Yemen. And depending on your 401k, pension or college investment plan, you might be profiting as well.
Shipping documents and diplomatic cables leaked by the Yemen Cyber Army and sent to reported.ly last week trace the recent shipment of bomb components from the Italian port of Genoa to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, then continuing to Dubai’s Jebel Ali port and overland to a bomb assembly plant in Abu Dhabi.
Manufactured by Rheinmetall subsidiary RWM Italia S.p.a. on the picturesque island of Sardinia, the munitions in question are known as MK82 and MK84 bombs.
After the long trip from Genoa, components for these munitions are assembled by Burkan Munitions Systems for the UAE’s Armed Forces. The UAE military is one of several forces that has bombed Yemen as part of a Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels since March.
Thousands of exports
Business as usual?
The company behind the bombs
Are you profiting from the war in Yemen?
Behind the documents
Comment by company press offices