Four Charged In UN Oil-For-Food Scandal

Posted on Friday, April 15 at 10:01 by 4Canada
One of the indictments announced Thursday charges a Texas oil company owner and two oil traders with paying millions in secret kickbacks to Saddam's government to secure oil deals, thus cheating the program out of money for humanitarian aid. The fourth person charged was Tongsun Park, a South Korean citizen and fugitive who allegedly accepted millions of dollars from the Iraqi government while he operated in the United States as an unregistered agent for Baghdad. In the 1970s, Park was at the centre of what became known as the Koreagate scandal, in which he was accused of trying to buy influence in Congress. In the oil-for-food scandal, Park was accused of telling a co-operating government witness in 1995 that he needed $10 million (all figures U.S.) from Iraq to "take care" of his expenses and his people. The witness believed that that meant a person identified in court papers only as "UN Official No. 1." FBI agent Nicholas Panagakos alleged that the government witness in 1996 met at a New York City restaurant with Park, an Iraqi official and a high-ranking UN official, identified in court papers as "UN Official No. 2." Park afterward claimed that he had used a $5 million guarantee from the government of Iraq to fund business dealings with the UN official, authorities said. Park allegedly told the government witness in 1997 or 1998 that he had invested about $1 million he had gotten from Iraq in a Canadian company established by the son of UN Official No. 2. He said the company failed and the money was lost. Kelley, pressed by reporters to say whether UN officials had actually received money tied to Park, said only that the issue was not part of the indictment. Asked about the allegations, UN associate spokesman Stephane Dujarric said: "We've always maintained that anyone who's found to have committed any criminal wrongdoing in relation to the program should be prosecuted. So in that sense, what you're seeing today is progress." The charges were announced at a news conference where an FBI official said the oil-for-food program was doomed when it let Saddam control who got to buy Iraqi oil. "This was the embodiment of the fox guarding the henhouse," said John Klochan, acting assistant director in charge of the New York FBI office. The indicted oil executive and traders are David B. Chalmers, sole shareholder of Bayoil (USA) Inc.; Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian citizen and permanent U.S. resident; and John Irving, a British citizen. Chalmers and Dionissiev were arrested Thursday at their homes in Houston. Kelley said he will seek to have Irving brought to the United States from England to face charges. "We will vigorously dispute the allegations of criminal conduct," said Catherine Recker, a lawyer for Chalmers and for Bayoil. The indictment accused the three of paying the kickbacks so that Chalmers' oil companies could continue to sell Iraqi oil under the UN program. If convicted, the three could get up to 62 years in prison, while Park could face up to five years. Kelley said he would also seek $100 million from the three. original:http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1113473600602&call_pageid=968332188492&col=968705899037

Contributed By


Topic


Article Rating

 (0 votes) 

Options




Comments

  1. Tue May 03, 2005 5:10 pm
    And the South Korean businessman led to Maurice Strong (Paul Martin's mentor, and Chretien's business partner), the Canadian Liberal Party, Power Corporation of Canada, BNP Paribas bank, TOTAL oil, and Louise Frechette in the U.N....good article 4canada. The truth does eventually come out. It sometimes just takes awhile.

    -------
    "they should hate us for our shoes, we should beat them with our money" - Anonymous Canadien



view comments in forum


You need to be a member and be logged into the site, to comment on stories.



Latest Editorials

more articles »

Your Voice

To post to the site, just sign up for a free membership/user account and then hit submit. Posts in English or French are welcome. You can email any other suggestions or comments on site content to the site editor. (Please note that Vive le Canada does not necessarily endorse the opinions or comments posted on the site.)

canadian bloggers | canadian news