HELSINKI, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Finnish Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintila said Monday that the state-owned arms firm Patria had suffered "a loss in its reputation" after a businessman of the company was found dead in Uganda on Feb. 6.
Now the company must continue to improve its operations, Lintila said in an interview with Finnish national broadcaster Yle.
Patria announced Friday the resignation of two executives of the company's land division, following revelations that they had written a letter of recommendation for a middle-aged Finnish salesman who was found dead in his hotel room in Uganda's capital Kampala two weeks ago. The reasons for the death of the salesman remained unclear.
Patria brochures were found in the dead man's possession, raising the question whether the company had erroneously allowed the salesman to market the products of the state-owned defense contractor in Uganda.
The Finnish state holds a controlling 50.1 percent stake in Patria. Military arms exports from Finland always need government approval and arms are not allowed to be sold to countries that are in conflict.
Lintila, who is in charge of state-owned companies, said he believed Patria's top management would not have let it happen "had they known" the fact. Patria said it has no ongoing plans to sell arms to Uganda.
Media reports said former Finnish Minister of Communications Suvi Linden accompanied the man on the trip, but both Patria and Linden have denied any association with the marketing.