APRIL 02, 2008
The United Nations chief who openly accepted cash, real estate, wild parties and hookers as bribes has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
The corrupt diplomat (Sanjaya Bahel of India) wielded incredible power as the world body’s chief of Commodity Procurement Section because he was responsible for awarding billions of dollars in contracts to companies around the world. He was convicted by a federal jury of bribery, wire fraud and mail fraud.
To secure the lucrative deals, business owners hosted wild parties for Bahel, provided him with prostitutes, money and even high-priced real estate in New York’s upscale Manhattan neighborhood. In return, Bahel steered about $100 million in U.N. contracts their way.
During Bahel’s trial in a Manhattan federal courtroom last summer, several businessmen testified that they often treated Bahel and other procurement officers to strip clubs and nights with prostitutes. The one-night tab would often run up to $6,000 but the payoff, millions in U.N. contracts for their firm, was well worth it.
The good ole party days were simply faded memories this week as Bahel requested mercy from the judge during his sentencing hearing. The disgraced U.N. official told the judge that “All I have has been lost as I stand before you” and that he let down a great many people.
Fraud and corruption have been rampant at the U.N.’s multi billion-dollar procurement division for years. The world body’s own watchdog, the Office of Internal Oversight Services, has documented some of the illegal activities in reports that reveal how nearly one-third of the procurement contracts involve waste, corruption and other irregularities.
Americans should be concerned because the United States annually gives the U.N. $5.3 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars. The funding continues even though the organization, founded six decades ago to maintain international peace and security, has failed miserably and is best known for its severe mismanagement and corruption.
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