12 December, 2019

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UN Corruption Files: UN Paid US$ 1.6 Million To “Ghost” Companies In Sri Lanka

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Documents obtained by The Colombo Telegraph show how United Nations funds were paid to three Sri Lankan companies which were physically not contactable.  US$ 1.57 million ( Approximately RS 167,000,000.00 – valuation 2008) was paid to supply companies which the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations could not contact. According to FAO Country Representative Patrick T. Evans’ own files, which were obtained by The Colombo Telegraph, he wrote, “ I came to learn that we have problems with some of our seeds supply companies – we can’t locate them – both addresses and phone numbers do not appear to be real.”

The FAO in Sri Lanka purchased project deliveries for the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka to a value exceeding US$ 1.5 million from three suppliers, namely, Dev Trades, A. F. Associates and YCO Farm. These suppliers could not be found in their given registered addresses and were not present at the given addresses. Two FAO staff members Ms. Niranjala Gunaraj, Finance Assistant, and Mr. Thevarajah Vaigunthan, National Project Officer, both attached to the FAO Emergency Unit, collected the payments on behalf these three companies.

According to UN files, whistleblowers within the organisation kept raising these irregularities from 2007 onwards, but no action was taken until the end of 2008. In 2008, an inquiry was initiated through FAO Headquarters Audit Department, where three officials, namely, Ms. Maria Carbone, Ms. Georgina Costello and Mr. Dennis Richards came to Sri Lanka to conduct the inquiry.

According to our investigations, the evidence was clear, but the Assistant FAO Representative (Administration), Dihan Hettige, encouraged FAO headquarters to bury this incident. We wrote to Patrick Evans and Dihan Hettige, asking what happened to the inquiry findings. They have failed to reply to our enquiries so far.

Another leaked 50 page document by the UN’s Chief Investigator, Inga Britt Ahlenius, dated 14 July 2010 and entitled “End of Assignment Report”  trashes Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on accountability and transparency, largely deservedly. The UN’s Chief Investigator wrote, “Is the United Nations now on the right path, more transparent, more accountable? I address this question under four main headlines: Transparency, Accountability, Oversight and Management of Reforms.  My conclusion and answer follows from my detailed review of certain core aspects of the Organisation. In spite of all your good intentions pronounced in these respects, my answer to this question is regrettably: NO…

And at the end of my report I summarize my observations: there is no transparency, there is lack of accountability. Rather than supporting the internal oversight which is the sign of strong leadership and good governance, you have strived to control it which is to undermine its position. I do not see any signs of reforms in the organization.”

So, this is the level of UN transparency and accountability. We are awaiting the UN’s response with regard to this particular US$ 1.6 fraud in Sri Lanka.We want UN to publish the investigation report. If there is no satisfactory response, we will publish our own findings and the FAO Country Representative’s files unilaterally.

uvindu@journalist.com

We give below the one relevant document form UN corruption files;

 

 

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Latest comments

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    Is this the UNHOLY UN?

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      un may have paid 1.6 millionu US dollers to purchased suicidal jackets during the war?

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        Hope they remembered to spare a few for their use?

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      I think that is one of the most significant info for me. And i am happy reading your article. However should remark on few basic issues, The site taste is wonderful, the articles is in reality great : D. Excellent task, cheers

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      Be careful what you dig into, it might turn out a politico is behind this company. And please don’t dig into what happened to Tsunami funds though; you might end up being “white vanned”.

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      Interestingly, so many here are surprised, appalled, disturbed and shocked by what is being reported here. But none of these people are shaken a bit by what is said to have happened or is happening in Sri Lanka right now.

      Talk about getting your priorities mixed.

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        Whats happening MAN? Nothing is happening in SL Govt and I can see u all r disturbed about this NEW FINDINGS AS THE BENEFISHERIES LOOKS LIKE THE LTTE! It was clearly seen and proved that most of the so called INGOs and NGOs have been supplying LTTE with many material.
        So LET THIS HAPPEN:
        “We are awaiting the UN’s response with regard to this particular US$ 1.6 fraud in Sri Lanka.We want UN to publish the investigation report. If there is no satisfactory response, we will publish our own findings and the FAO Country Representative’s files unilaterally.”

        Will see HOW THEY RESPOND!!! Do not come to conclusions UNTILL THEN!!!

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        I don’t think exposing UN corruption is getting ones priorities mixed. I am glad that there are people who are not frightened to expose this kind of corruption.
        Why doesn’t the Govt. of Sri Lanka request the UN to be accountable just as all other NGO’s and INGO’s?

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      UN is the world’s most corrupt place it is a den full of horrible and beastly criminals, they dress well with the money they so criminally extort from various places and by arms smuggling to prostitution, the guys who work for UN are surely bound to Hell as it is a God forsaken place.

  • 0
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    May be “UN guys” spent the money sent to rehabilitate the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka to rehabilitate THEMSELVES.

    Why was it not reported to the Sri Lankan authorities, fear of exposure?

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      You have to also wonder, why the government papers are interested in this stuff only now. These things seems to have happened many years ago, right?

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        even the LTTE terrorist vermin were eradicated 3 years ago, right so why go on harping about these just be happy that it was GROBR.

  • 0
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    Is Bell Pottinger one of them?

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    Great great Uvindu, I will give you another file, but it’s not USD millions, but worth to publish. I will email you, all the best!!

    • 0
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      Does it have anything to do with Tsunami funds?

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        Who knows, might be another interesting episode in the corruption exposure?

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    We have heard of many corrupt INGO’s working in Sri Lanka but when it is of an UN organization it is simply shocking! Aren’t they who proclaim to the world about being transparent and accountable?
    as mentioned in the article why has the organization stopped the investigation? Won’t it be interesting to find out their motive behind this move? Has no one been held accountable?

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      Doesn’t the Sri Lankan government claim to be transparent and accountable Democratic government? I am not interested in defending the actions of UN officials. But I am curious why you are not interested in your government as much.

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    great article. How can a person fraud that kind of money.
    if any funds are given to any agency there needs to be transparency and accountability. I remember when I was working at National Peace Council of Sri Lanka how we had to give accounts to even smaller expenditure. All the funds we recieved were audited and had to always have the receipts if we spend any money. So where this money went…… to someone’s pocket or to a politicians pocket……

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      Where are these two individuals – Two FAO staff members Ms. Niranjala Gunaraj, Finance Assistant, and Mr. Thevarajah Vaigunthan, National Project Officer, both attached to the FAO Emergency Unit, collected the payments on behalf these three companies.

      Asylum seekers in Western Countries or working for UNHCR’s Navi Pillai!

      • 0
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        Good question, let’s ask FAO where are they now?

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    i think patrick (the FAO Head in SL)is an US citizen. US govt and UN are highly concern about human rights and accountability. can this happen?

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    Don’t you all know that the whole UN system is a fraud?Commissions kickbacks in the guise of promoting democracy,human rights etc.CPA,NCP,Free media movement will be in a better position to answer to that question.

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    Definitely this money has given to LTTE

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      Very interesting comment, may be that was the reason for the covering up, what crooks are sent here in the guise of development!

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      Also check how much this animal Ranil Wickedsinghe received out of this, for his daily doses of cheap arrack and other dirty stuff he enjoys….this ugly dirty worst than dog creature….

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    I was just seeking this details for some time.

  • 0
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    excellent Uvindu!

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    It is obvious that FAO and UN have covered this fraud. There may be or may be not UN officials (both local and expatriate) benefited form the fraud. If it is somebody’s personal money UN can forget it. But this money was from international tax payers for the benefit for the people of SL. How can few officers in the Organization make a decision to close the case without even recovering the money back? I doubt the culprits are still in UN payroll. FAO would have accounted this money as they spent same against hunger. Our stupid government never question on how the UN spends donor funds?

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    All who came to help Sri Lanka had ulterior motives. UN has become a diplomatic cover for of them. Hope His Excellency the President can teach the westerners the same lesson Mahatma Ghandi taught the Britishers!!

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    If the UN or Navaneetham Pillai’s crooked agents plans to come here to poke their stinking noses into the affairs of Srilanka,the citizens of the country will ensure that they will be returned in the next flight to Israel.By the way when are those phonies Paki,Sunanda,Nimalka,Sunila returning home?These world renowned fraudsters will be taught a lesson,by Srilankans,starting from the porters at the airport.A damned set of fraudsters!

    • 0
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      So Max, you removed Uvindu’s name from your hit list? LOL :) :)

      • 0
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        Lal,
        He is on probation.Even if you try to correct yourself i might be able to consider your status,from terrorist to reformed terrorist.

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    Why not FAO carry out an investigation or hand it over to the Sri Lanka CID mostly probably the birds would have flown to west and now they are the LTTE diaspora who are enjoying the fruits of the ill gotten gains and part of it must be in the hands of the Officials who disbursed it.

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    This is just one organization, god only knows how much was syphoned out of whole of UN, for what purpose this funds were used.

    How could this take place in an organization of this stature, one need to question about the systems and controls not to mention the financial accountability.

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    Why UN does not make an official complain and bring those three guys, Neranjala, Thevarajah and Hettige to courts?

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    MEMBERS OF U N ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE UN FUNDS. SO THAT IS PEOPLE’S MONEY,
    THEY ARE SPENDING FREELY. LAVISHLY, WHATEVER, WHEREEVER THEY WANT.
    I HAVE SEEN LOT OF MATERIALS ,MACHINERY LYING IDLE and getting rust AT DUBAI Rashidia wherehouse.

  • 0
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    Wake up Sri Lankans work in the UN!!!!!. You should have reported this, if respective authorities refused to do so. This is a CRIME against our country. It’s a shame for SRI LANKANS who are involved. Why not the GSL investigate this? Obviously CID can check the bank accounts and assets of those Sri Lankans Niranjala, Thevarajah and Hettige?
    As per the story, if Hettige has played a role in covering this up, he must be prosecuted. If not Mervin Silva can exercise what he said few days ago!!!!

  • 0
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    Uvindu you have touched where journalist dared to touch, keep it up.

  • 0
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    There will be NO investigations or prosecutions. These persons were fronts for major fraudsters including Mr Ten Percent, I suspect.
    There are procedures and safeguards in doling out UN funds, & these cannot be circumvented withoot approval/assistance from the top.

  • 0
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    Rajapaksa is stealing money from UN

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    Rajapaksa is stealing money from UN, Sri Lanka people..
    Rajapaksa is now loosing the support worldwide because of his wicked politics, crooked behavior,dishonesty, lack of principles, lack of vision, lack of good faith, double face, twisted tongue and every bad behavior one can attribute to a ruthless dictator..

    • 0
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      No wonder these words are coming from the the defeated sobbing Tamil Tigers!

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        Why do you have to drag in the President of the country? I feel you haven’t UNDERSTOOD the article and what it says about corruption? I wish you read back the article and take note of the culprits; FAO Country Representative Patrick T. Evans, Assistant FAO Representative (Administration), Dihan Hettige. Stop slinging mud, Come on Sri Lankan’!

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          This happened during the time Chandrika was President and Dilan is her man. She should be investigated because most of the frauds took place when she was complacent with what went and came to the LTTE. remember that complacency led to many other frauds and yes even during the tsunami recovery period.

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      Mr.Nihal, This is not related to Sri Lankan government, it is totally related to UN and her contractors… Just you read it back from the top to bottom and understand the contents of it… Do not jump on your decisions quickly without having close-up on the article…

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        The problem with these Tamil Tigers who appear on bogus Sinhalese names,is that they haven’t come to terms with the early departure of that wonderful human being”Velu” yet.Accusing the president is a result of a never ending nightmare.So we all must forgive these geezers.

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      Unless you have proof that it is connected to the Rajapakse clan don’t make false allegations. It is lankans like you who look up and spit at yourself. Be thankful that it is this so called dictator with his wicked politics, crooked behavior,dishonesty, lack of principles, lack of vision, lack of good faith, double face, twisted tongue and every bad behaviour was the only leader who got rid of LTTE terrorists and terrorism which plagued Sri Lanka for 26 years.

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    This is really the really great review for me, should acknowledge that you just are probably the best writers We ever saw.Thank you for writing this informative article.

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    Tremendous issues here. I am very satisfied to look your post. Thanks so much and I am looking ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail? or shall I? I will give you more info!

  • 0
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    Rajapakshe bros companies in bogus names..

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      Hope you will be able to provide more details on the “Ghost” companies to let all srilankan’s know who’s hands these moneys have gone to and expose the true culprits. Shouldn’t the CID be called in and handed over the task to unearth the masked?

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    Looks suspiciously like LTTE stooges have got their filthy hands on UN funding by putting forward non-existent “front” companies. Although the companies did not exist, surely Niranjala, Thevarajah and Hettige are made of flesh and blood and are well known by the UN administrators here?
    Come on, UN, you must pursue this investigation and ensure that the guilty are dealt with.

  • 0
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    You are one extraordinary man Uvindu. Brave and outspoken in your independent writings. Rajapakshe bros companies in bogus names..

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