H&K and Walther take Dutch Government to court

Earlier this year the Dutch police announced the adoption of a new pistol, the Sig Sauer PPNL (Police Pistol Netherlands).

Sig Sauer PPNL

Heckler & Koch and Walther, who lost out on the contract, have announced their intention to take the government to court over the decision.

[ Many thanks to my Dutch source for emailing me the infomation. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Elijah

    Since I don’t read or speak Dutch I’m naturally moved to ask on what grounds?

  • Marc
  • Royi

    @Elijah: suspecting bribery (see comments in earlier mentioned blogpost), and they wish to hear why the test panel favoured the HK during the procedures, but choose the SigSauser later.

  • Clairon

    Apparently suspicion of corruption. One of the major actor (a dutch policeman from Rotterdam) during the decision process within the NL police is already suspected for another case of corruption after the sales of peperspray’s to the NL police by the company TPM. TPM is also the official representant of Sig Sauer in the NL.

  • Mantis

    The representative for SIG-Sauer in the Netherlands is a company called TBM according to this article. They are under investigation for their part in a pepper spray order for the Dutch police back 2002. TBM allegedly paid off a police officer so that they would be allowed to supply the pepper spray. Because of the investigation into the pepper spray order both H&K and Walther want to stop the delivery of the new pistol for the Dutch Police. They fear that there has been another case of corruption. Apparently the police favored the H&K pistol but suddenly decided to adopt the SIG.

  • Theodoric

    Claims of corruption; the company that acted as an intermediary for the arms manufacturers has already had some shady business with the DoD and other police purchases a while ago, and H&K and Walther are fed up with it.
    Can’t blame them, really.

  • Peter

    It says in Dutch :

    The company “Technisch Bureau Muller” who distributes weapons and equipment to the Dutch Police supposedly bribed a Rotterdam Police officer in 2002 to get the contract to supply them with pepperspray cans, it appears that the same officer also plays a significant role in the handgun acquisitions. Now they are investigating possible corruption.

  • VicksofDenmark
  • Other Steve

    Zhe Germans sure are sore losers

  • The dutch officials chose the Sigs, but the police wanted the H&Ks.
    Then HK and Walther thought “Well, why not just sue them a bit, sueing somebody never hurts” and claim the official who made the decision to buy Sig Sauer’s was bribed.
    Not to unlikely, as he also was bribed when choosing the new pepper-spray.

  • Peter BE

    There are allegations of corruption. The company that will sell the SIG pistols to the Dutch government is the same that sold them OC spray. This deal is under investigation because the company alledgedly bribed a police weapons expert – the same expert that was also involved in the decision to buy the SIG.

  • Eric

    I’m also interested. Any dutch speakers here?

  • Anton

    Corruption, apparently. I am Dutch and have been following the replacement of the old Walther P5 and Glock pistols that have been in service for some time.

    Bottom line is, that SIG got the contract in spite of the more favoured H&K. Accusations point towards TBM (Technisch Bureau Müller, you english speakers can probably work out what that more or less means) who also got a contract earlier for pepperspray cans.

    Accusations on TBM pulling the same trick with the Military have also been made by Defence.

    Pretty nasty stuff if you ask me.

  • gunslinger

    yeah, could we get a translation of the article? maybe a brief rundown of what the legal actions are? are HK/Walther claiming unfair bidding practices or something?

  • Johan

    The company who won the contract is being investigated for bribery on a previous contract for pepperspray for the Dutch Police.

    During testing HK came out top. Everybody thought they were going to be the winners. So everybody is very surprised about the outcome

  • sadlerbw

    I would guess the reasoning is something to the effect of, “Hey! No fair! If you did it right you would have picked me!” Still, I also am curious about what the article says.

  • Ross

    Yeah, why? Or can you post a link to the article so we can use Google translate on it?

  • rene

    Short translation of the article:

    The Hague. The Dutch police-force has to wait longer to for their new service-pistol since two arm manufacturers, H&K and Walther, have sued the Dutch state because they feel that the proper procedures in choosing and buying the pistol have been violated.

    The arms-dealer that is involved in selling the new service pistol has been accused of corruption with regards to a 2002 decision to buy all the force’s pepper-spray canisters from his shop.
    A particular Rotterdam police officer, who has also played a major role in the new contract, is suspected to have taken bribe money from this dealer, Technish Bureau Muller (TBM), in order to let this company have the pepper-spray deal.

    The choice for Sig-Sauer has met criticism by representatives of the arms-industry, who suspect foul play, and in the police-union which has stated, after testing among the officers, their preferences for a H&K side-arm.

    Yet, the responsible minister of Justice and Security has ordered 42000 Sig-Sauer PPNL pistols, a deal which, including training,service-costs, etc, involves tens of millions of Euro’s.

    Then there’s is an explanation about how the minister feels that there have been no violations and all procedures have been followed properly, for example the ministry of defense,which has also deals with TBM around 7 million euro’s for ,a.o. Glock’s, decided to not let their personnel watch a TBM presentation.

    My two cents:
    The choice for the Sig Sauer PPNl is a remarkable one. The P226 doesn’t meet all the criteria from stock (such as easy changing of grips for smaller/larger hands), which other pistols that have been sent in do. In order to meet the criteria, half of the pistol’s casing has to be replaced and not just the grips, which will cost much more in servicing. Also the fact that a suspected corrupt officer has been involved in the new contract doesn’t bode very well, but as a Dutch knowing the Dutch mentality of refusing to deal with any corrupt situation unless it is John Doe forgetting to declare 10 euro’s of income on his tax form, this will all be conveniently be swept under the rug.

  • rene

    Sorry, where it says ‘P226’ it should read ‘P250 DC’

  • Lance

    I see the dutch have there own “Tanker” competition nightmare. Like between Boeing and Airbus a fe years ago.

  • chris

    English plz…

  • Arjan

    The supplier of the weapon, a German company named TBM, has been accused of bribing a police officer with regards to an order of pepperspray. This same officer is involved in the bid for the new service weapon. The choice of SIG in favor of the H&K has bewildered a lot of police officers since test concluded the H&K model to be superior.

  • RWWB

    One of the parties involved the bid (a weapons wholesaler) has been found guilty on charges of corruption in another bid. This other bid dealt with the national supplier of pepperspray.

    They will probably plead that the dutch government can not guarantee that this bid went fair.

  • Okki


    I don’t have time today to translate it, but the Google translation is good enough to get the point across. The translation was sourced from the Volks Krant article referenced above.

    Opstelten = Name of minister of the dutch DoJ.

    Summary: A gun dealer representing Sig Sauer in the Netherlands in involved in a corruption investigation and thus H&K and Walther saw an opportunity to put the deal on hold and possible have the solicitation re-issued.



    AMSTERDAM – The police must wait longer for a new service pistol, as two arms manufacturers have filed a lawsuit against the Dutch state. The company’s Heckler & Koch and Walther do not agree with the award to rival SIG-Sauer.

    This turned out Thursday Opstelten replies by Minister for Security and Justice on questions from the SP. By purchasing this service pistol is a gun dealer accused of corruption involved, and SIG-Sauer in the Netherlands represents.

    The company, the arms trade Technical Board Müller (TBM) from Arnhem, in 2002 won the tender for buses pepper spray. The Rijksrecherche examine these purchases because of possible corruption. TPM in this procedure would have bribed a Rotterdam police officer. Tendering for the service pistol agent plays the same important role.

    The choice of SIG-Sauer earlier this year provoked surprise when representatives of both the arms industry and police unions. When tested by the police revealed a strong preference was for a weapon of the brand Heckler & Koch.

    Tens of millions
    Six months after the tests Opstelten chose it for 42 000 new service pistols from SIG-Sauer. The value of the contract for all new handguns, maintenance and related training runs into tens of millions. According Opstelten SIG-Sauer came out on top in tests and integrity came from two studies showed that the procurement of the new service pistol had gone legitimate.

    Also at Defence, the corruption investigation into the purchase of pepper spray effects. The Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO), the part that deals with the purchase of equipment, in the autumn of 2010 banned its staff to a presentation by the corruption of suspected arms trade Technical Board Muller (TPM) to attend. In this way the defense would “influence a procurement procedure” prevented.

    Defence Minister Hillen writes this in response to questions from Labour. The responses also show that Defence widely in recent years has purchased weapons from this wholesale from Arnhem.
    According to Hillen Defense has over the past ten years “for a total of around 7 million euro contracts with TPM.” It is according to the minister contracts for the purchase of “long-range weapons, ammunition, target and vision resources and Glock pistols. These contracts are just as can be seen from the answers of Hillen.

    The minister writes that in the past have never been reports of TBM integrity violations by the Defence Materiel Organisation. Sources in the defense industry this fight.

  • zincorium

    Interesting row. But couldn’t this potentially backfire wholesale on H&K + Walther, if the accusations cannot be substantiated?

    1. It opens them up to either libel suits or countersuing for a frivolous lawsuit, or maybe both. Not too sure about sig’s legal options here.

    2. Unless the official they’re accusing of accepting is kicked out over this, that’s some serious bad blood in terms of gaining contracts there in the future.

    3. It encourages Sig to play the same game, win or lose.

  • 1. Countersuing is not very likely, as there is no crime comitted by suing someone, if you do not falsely accuse the sued person.
    In this case, the sued person would be the “bribed” offical, who could claim compensation if he wins in court. No need for countersueing.

    2. When the official also decides against them the next time, they will sue again, and say he is biased.

    3. Walther, HK and Sig allready play that game for years, and keep sueing each other for everything they do.

  • Ayoub

    p5 pistal