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Keyword: sevan

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  • UN inspectors 'spent their days drinking' [Iraq]

    02/15/2005 6:14:33 PM PST · by saquin · 51 replies · 2,045+ views
    The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 2/16/05 | Francis Harris
    UN inspectors in Iraq spent their working hours drinking vodka while ignoring a shadowy nocturnal fleet believed to be smuggling goods for Saddam Hussein, a former senior inspector told the US Senate yesterday. In a move that provoked fury from officials of the Swiss firm Cotecna, an Australian former inspector detailed a picture of incompetence, indifference and drunkeness among the men acting as the frontline for UN sanctions. Arthur Ventham, a former Australian army officer and customs officer, joined the operation in 2002 and worked at various sites in Iraq and neighbouring states. He said that at Iskendurun in eastern...
  • U.N. faces reputation crisis after scandal

    11/02/2005 3:45:34 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 622+ views
    ap on Yahoo ^ | 11/02/05 | Nick Wadhams - ap
    UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations faces a crisis of reputation in the wake of the oil-for-food scandal, but the 191 member states and Secretary-General Kofi Annan are determined to reform the world body, the top U.N. management official said Wednesday. Key elements of that reform include a new, strengthened whistleblower policy and new financial disclosure rules that, among other things, will require that staff report gifts of more than $250 rather than $10,000 as the rules currently demand, said Undersecretary-General Christopher Burnham. Burnham is an American and former official in the administration of President Bush. He was hired five...
  • WSJ: Oil for Food as Usual - The U.N.'s worst critics couldn't invent what Volcker shows.

    09/09/2005 5:17:39 AM PDT · by OESY · 10 replies · 1,207+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | September 9, 2005 | Editorial
    ...So it was that the largest fraud ever recorded in history came about. Press reports often cite the overall size of Oil for Food at $60 billion, but Mr. Volcker's report makes clear that the real figure was in excess of $100 billion. From this, Saddam was able to derive $10.2 billion from illicit transactions. But the important point is he was able to steer 10 times that sum toward his preferred clients in the service of his political aims. ...Volcker's report is replete with examples of incompetent UN oversight and tales of political wrangling among the permanent members of...
  • U.N. to launch audit of procurement office (Again!!!)

    08/10/2005 4:43:58 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 2 replies · 738+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 8/10/05 | Nick Wadhams - AP
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The top U.N. management official said Wednesday he has ordered a new investigation of the procurement division in light of a senior officer's guilty plea for taking massive bribes from United Nations contractors. The review by Christopher Burnham will add to the extraordinary level of scrutiny on the procurement department, which first gained serious attention over its involvement in the scandal-tainted U.N. oil-for-food program. It was thrust into the spotlight again on Monday, when one of its staff, Alexander Yakovlev pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts of money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to...
  • Corruption at the heart of the United Nations

    08/09/2005 3:12:48 PM PDT · by Tumbleweed_Connection · 19 replies · 640+ views
    An investigation has concluded that the former head of the United Nations’ oil-for-food programme in Iraq took kickbacks to help an oil company win contracts. Another senior UN official is accused of soliciting bribes. The report is a severe blow to the organisation at a crucial time. FOR over a year, investigators have pored over questions of mismanagement and corruption at the United Nations. On Monday August 8th, they produced their firmest—and most painful—conclusions to date. An independent commission has found that Benon Sevan, the former head of the UN’s oil-for-food programme in Iraq, “corruptly benefited” from kickbacks while he...
  • Oil-for-Food Arrest Linked to Bolton Arrival at U.N.

    08/09/2005 12:47:12 PM PDT · by pookie18 · 42 replies · 1,595+ views
    Scrapple Face ^ | 8/9/05 | Scott Ott
    Just eight days after John Bolton's recess appointment as U.N. Ambassador, the world body's credibility took a nosedive as corruption charges were leveled against top officials involved in the $64 billion Iraq oil-for-food scandal. With one arrest yesterday and more expected shortly, experts naturally noted the connection between the arrival of the gruff American diplomat and the crisis at the United Nations. "We warned President Bush against picking Bolton," said one Senate Democrat, "and now look what's happened -- criminal allegations in the world's most credible organization." A spokesman for Ambassador Bolton refused comment on the oil-for-food scandal, but noted...
  • Sevan Says He's Likely to Name Names (Oil for Food Scandal Ringleader)

    08/08/2005 6:45:40 PM PDT · by wagglebee · 90 replies · 2,752+ views
    NewsMax ^ | 8/8/05 | Stewart Stogel
    New York -- As a result of a second scathing report on his administration of the scandal plagued U.N.-Iraq Oil-for-Food Prgram by U.N. investigator Paul Volcker, Benon V. Sevan is now threatening to name names. In a news conference, Volcker issued another "interim report" on the activates of Sevan, who ran the $67 billion aid program from 1997-2003. Volcker came to the conclusion that Sevan did indeed accept what amounted to several hundred thousand dollars in bribes funneled to him through various overseas channels. The most disturbing came through an aunt living in Cyprus who died in a mysterious apartment...
  • Oil-For-Food Chief Accused of Kickbacks

    08/08/2005 9:37:51 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 26 replies · 901+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 8/8/05 | Nick Wadhams - AP
    NEW YORK - Investigators probing claims of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program accused its former chief, Benon Sevan, of corruption for taking illegal kickbacks and recommended his immunity be lifted for prosecution. The investigators said a former U.N. procurement officer sought a bribe and should have his immunity lifted as well. Alexander Yakovlev also was accused of collecting nearly $1 million in kickbacks outside the oil-for-food program. The third report by the Independent Inquiry Committee, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, was a new blow to the scandal-tainted $64 billion program. For the first time, it gave...
  • Oil-for-Food Head Resigns Before Explosive Report

    08/07/2005 7:54:11 PM PDT · by West Coast Conservative · 19 replies · 1,369+ views
    Reuters ^ | August 7, 2005 | Evelyn Leopold
    The former head of the scandal-tainted oil-for-food program resigned from the United Nations on Sunday, hours before he is expected to be accused of getting kickbacks from the $67 billion operation. A U.N.-established Independent Inquiry Committee, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, plans to release on Monday its third interim report on allegations of corruption in the humanitarian program for Iraq, which began in 1996 and ended in 2003. Benon Sevan, the former executive director of the program, is to be accused of getting cash for steering Iraqi oil contracts to an Egyptian trader and of refusing...
  • Former oil-for-food chief quits amid scandal

    08/07/2005 5:15:13 PM PDT · by minus_273 · 12 replies · 392+ views
    CNN ^ | August 7, 2005. | CNN
    UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The former director of the U.N. oil-for-food program resigned Sunday, denying wrongdoing and blasting the organization a day before he is to be accused of profiting from illegal deals. Benon Sevan resigned from the United Nations in a letter to Kofi Annan, accusing the secretary-general of "sacrificing" him for political expediency. A spokesman for the U.N.-appointed Independent Inquiry Committee investigating the program told CNN last week that the committee's latest report on the topic, to be issued Monday, would address allegations against Sevan. Sevan's lawyer, Eric Lewis, said Thursday that he had been provided the findings...
  • Oil - for - Food Probe Expected to Accuse UN Director

    08/07/2005 5:45:29 PM PDT · by gpapa · 1 replies · 533+ views
    Reuters via New York Times ^ | August 7, 2005 | Unattributed
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - An investigation into the oil-for-food program will accuse for the first time on Monday the director of the defunct $67 billion U.N. operation of getting cash from oil deals.
  • Oil-for-food probe expected to accuse UN director

    08/07/2005 12:11:15 PM PDT · by dila813 · 10 replies · 468+ views
    RedNova ^ | 8/7/2005 | Evelyn Leopold
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - An investigation into the U.N. oil-for-food program will accuse for the first time on Monday the director of the defunct $67 billion operation of getting cash from oil deals. A U.N.-established Independent Inquiry Committee, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, plans to release on Monday its third interim report on allegations of corruption in the humanitarian program for Iraq, which began in 1996 and ended in 2003. Benon Sevan, the executive director of the program, is to be accused of getting a kickback for steering Iraqi oil contracts to an Egyptian trader and...
  • Head of Oil-for-Food Resigns

    08/07/2005 4:49:58 PM PDT · by gpapa · 24 replies · 775+ views
    BENON Sevan, the former head of the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq, has resigned from the world body and criticised UN chief Kofi Annan for "sacrificing" him as he faced an inquiry into his role in the scandal-plagued aid scheme, his lawyer said Sunday.
  • Oil-for-food probe accuses former chief (Sevan)

    08/04/2005 2:42:04 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 3 replies · 418+ views
    AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 8/4/05 | Nick Wadhams - AP
    NEW YORK (AP) - Investigators have concluded that the former chief of the Iraq oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan, took kickbacks under the $64 billion humanitarian operation and refused to cooperate with their probe, his lawyer said Thursday. While the amount of money Sevan allegedly took wasn't immediately known - and may be as little as $160,000 - the findings would be a major blow because of his stature in the organization and the control he had over it. The program was one of the largest in history. The Independent Inquiry Committee had planned to release its findings about Sevan on...
  • U.N. Mystery Man: Who Is Jean-Bernard Merimee and What's His Oil-for-Food Tie?

    07/29/2005 3:40:02 PM PDT · by Brian Mosely · 5 replies · 1,118+ views
    Fox News ^ | Thursday, July 28, 2005 | Claudia Rosett
    NEW YORK — As investigations proliferate into the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal, one of the more intriguing mysteries involves a former French diplomat with a direct link to the U.N.’s executive suite: Jean-Bernard Merimee (search). The 68-year-old Merimee, one of several individuals now under investigation in France for alleged involvement in Saddam Hussein’s Oil-for-Food scams, is well known for his role in the early 1990s as French ambassador to the United Nations. What investigators have not so far highlighted is that during the period Merimee is alleged to have come into commercial contact with Saddam’s regime, starting in December 2001,...
  • WSJ: Oil for Food Clues - Ignored by a Clueless Press Pursuing the Plame Story

    07/29/2005 5:32:43 AM PDT · by OESY · 2 replies · 654+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 29, 2005 | Editorial
    ...Last month we learned that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan may have been aware that Swiss inspections company Cotecna was bidding for an Oil for Food contract it eventually won later that year.... Mr. Annan has denied having any prior knowledge of the Cotecna bid in testimony to Paul Volcker's committee investigating Oil for Food. But if the substance of the Cotecna memo is accurate -- the company confirms its authenticity -- it means the Secretary General may have misled investigators.... Then there is the continuing investigation of Benon Sevan, the senior U.N. bureaucrat formerly in charge of Oil for...
  • Top U.N. envoy to North Korea loses post (Maurice Strong - You ARE the weakest link! Buh-Bye!)

    07/18/2005 3:29:44 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 11 replies · 1,047+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/18/05 | Edith M. Lederer - AP
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A Canadian businessman lost his job as the top U.N. envoy to North Korea amid questions about his connection to a suspect in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, the world body said Monday. The decision not to renew Maurice Strong's contract follows criticism that he gave his stepdaughter a job at the United Nations and concerns over his ties to a South Korean businessman accused of accepting kickbacks from Saddam Hussein's government. Deputy U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in response to a question that Strong's contract expired last week "and it has not been renewed." She gave...
  • AP Exclusive: Oil-for-Food Probe Finds Gross Mismanagement in U.N. Compensation Commission

    07/15/2005 6:19:31 PM PDT · by Pharmboy · 15 replies · 476+ views
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 15, 2005 | Nick Wadhams
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Investigators probing the U.N. oil-for-food program have found evidence of "gross mismanagement" and possible corruption by the U.N. agency that oversaw compensation for victims of Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq's deputy U.N. ambassador said Friday. Investigators with the Independent Inquiry Committee had been investigating $5 billion in questionable expenditures by the U.N. Compensation Commission for months. It had denied any wrongdoing. But Fesial al-Istrabadi told The Associated Press that the investigators believe some of the allegations were legitimate, particularly in how the commission handled currency exchange rates with the Iraqi dinar. "There appear to have...
  • N.Y. investigates ex-oil-for-food chief (Sevan)

    07/11/2005 3:08:22 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 4 replies · 441+ views
    Bakersfield Californian ^ | 7/11/05 | Nick Wadhams - AP
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has launched a criminal investigation of former U.N. oil-for-food chief Benon Sevan, the official's spokeswoman said Monday. Barbara Thompson would not give details of the investigation into Sevan, who came under scathing criticism from a U.N.-backed probe investigating claims of corruption in the $64 billion program in a February report. It wasn't clear how long Morgenthau has been investigating Sevan. Last year, the U.N.-backed investigation, led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, had sought Morgenthau's help in the oil-for-food probe, investigators said at the time. The criminal probe against...
  • D.A. Pursuing Criminal Probe of Aide at U.N.

    07/11/2005 6:43:08 AM PDT · by gopwinsin04 · 9 replies · 450+ views
    NY Sun ^ | July 11, 2005 | Claudia Rosett
    The Manhattan District Attorney's office has opened a criminal investigation into the former head of the UN oil-fo-food program, Benon Sevan, the DA's office has just confimed for the first time to the NY Sun. The probe, apparently well advanced, involved allegations of commercial bribery related to Mr. Sevan's role as executive director from 1997-2003 of the oil-for-food relief program from Iraq, then under UN sanctions against the fromer regieme of Saddam Hussein.A source close into the criminal investigation into Mr. Sevan says that the office of the Manhattan DA, Robert Morganthau, is working in coooperation with a UN-authorized inquiry...