Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Same old same old

Captain's Quarters posts about yet another scandal at the United Nations:


As federal investigators examine how the leading U.N. agency in North Korea illegally kept 35 counterfeit American $100 bills in its possession for 12 years, documents indicate that more officials were aware of the existence of the fake currency — and earlier — than the agency has reported.

Spokesmen for the United Nations Development Program have said top officials at the agency's New York headquarters learned in February that their safe in Pyongyang contained the counterfeit bills and immediately reported it to American authorities. But several documents shown recently to The New York Sun indicate that higher-ups knew much earlier that the safe held counterfeit money. ...

Not surprisingly, the Treasury Department takes a dim view of this activity. The Secret Service wants to talk to at least 13 officials in the UN Development Program to determine their complicity in the counterfeiting ring. So far, the UN has not lifted immunity for those individuals, and they're not talking about when it will happen; a "senior UN official" told Avni that the UN and the Secret Service are "working out the modalities".

If federal prosecutors can return an indictment and confirm this activity, the UN will face a much tougher time in the US than it did in the Oil-for-Food Programme scandal. In that case, they turned a blind eye and enabled Saddam Hussein to enrich himself through a vast kickback scheme. If the UN helped hide North Korea's counterfeiting ring, that is a direct insult to our sovereignty, as well as our hospitality.

The more stories like this are revealed, the more sense it makes for the US to reconsider the United Nations, as a whole.



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