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Former UN Official Convicted Of Fraud, Corruption


http://gdb.rferl.org/A4FEC320-74CE-4F44-97F0-E43F4A60D47A_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/A4FEC320-74CE-4F44-97F0-E43F4A60D47A_mw800_mh600.jpg (epa) UNITED NATIONS, June 8, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. Attorney Office in New York announced on June 7 that Sanjaya Bahel, a former mid-level UN procurement official, was convicted on all counts of fraud and corruption charges.

Bahel, an Indian national, was arrested in late 2006 and was released on bail pending trial.

His conviction follows the indictments of several other UN procurement officials, including two former Russian diplomats, Aleksandr Yakovlev and Vladimir Kuznetsov.

All of them were accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes for awarding UN procurement contracts to preferred companies.

In other news, a humanitarian fund established by British parliamentarian George Galloway has been found to have received at least $376,000 of illicit income from the UN oil-for-food program for Iraq.

The Charity Commission, a British regulator, published its findings after a 16-month inquiry, following separate U.S. and British investigations.

The program allowed Iraq to sell oil to buy civilian goods for its people living under UN sanctions between 1996 and 2003.

(with material from Reuters)

Sharing Iraq's Oil

The pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey is one of Iraq's main oil-export lifelines (epa file photo)

THE FUTURE OF THE ECONOMY. The uneven distribution of Iraq's oil resources has long been a source of tension among the country's ethnic and sectarian groups. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the tangled quest to find an equitable way to share oil revenues has been a major stumbling block on the road to national unity.


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