Once again the UN is proving that it is as corrupt financially as it is morally. A United Nations task force has uncovered a broad reaching pattern of corruption involving hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for fuel, food, construction and other materials used by U.N. peacekeeping operations, which are in the midst of their largest expansion in 15 years. And the sickest part of it all….THEY STINK AT PEACEKEEPING ALSO!
In recent weeks, 10 procurement officials have been charged with misconduct for soliciting bribes and rigging bids in Congo and Haiti. It has been the largest crackdown on U.N. staff malfeasance in the field in more than a decade. The task force has issued a series of public and confidential reports charging that corruption has spread from U.N. headquarters – where three officials have been convicted in bribery schemes – to the far reaches of its growing peacekeeping empire. The task force has also cast a spotlight on the U.N.’s repeated failure to take action against officials long suspected of wrongdoing. “The task force identified multiple instances of fraud, corruption, waste and mismanagement at U.N. headquarters and peacekeeping missions, including ten significant instances of fraud and corruption with aggregate value in excess of $610 million,” said one report by the task force, headed by a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut, Robert Appleton…..
The recent investigation in Congo revealed “widespread and inherent corruption” throughout the mission’s purchasing department. One official targeted in the probe, Abdul Karim Masri, had emerged unscathed from repeated OIOS inquiries into his alleged activities over more than a decade. The task force charged that Masri, 54, engaged in an “extensive pattern of bribery” during his seven years in Congo, according to a confidential account of the probe. The unit claimed Masri accepted a $10,000 bribe from a boating company, steered a big catering contract to a friend, and persuaded one U.N. contractor to paint his apartment and swimming pool for free. In Haiti, the U.N. charged five employees with misconduct after the task force established that they had steered a $10 million-a-year fuel contract to a Haitian company, Distributeurs Nationaux S.A., according to U.N. officials and confidential documents. The task force has been unable to prove that the five profited from the scheme, citing its lack of authority to subpoena bank records, but they recommended the case be referred for criminal prosecution by authorities in Haiti or the United States.