Trading Contracts for a Condo: Bribery Charges Against U.N. Official

Nov 2, 2006 10:54am

A top official at the United Nations has been charged with helping a friend get more than $60 million in U.N. contracts in exchange for a most coveted commodity: an underpriced New York City apartment. Sanjaya Bahel was stripped of his diplomatic immunity by the U.N. Secretary-General and indicted for influence peddling. His friend Nishan Kohli was also indicted. As head of the U.N. procurement office, Bahel allegedly steered contracts for computers and other equipment to companies represented by Kohli; prosecutors say he even canceled competing bids and ordered re-bids to give Kohli an unfair advantage. THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Annan Quietly Files Disclosure Forms, But Public Loses Out Accused Sexual Harasser To Headline Ethics Conference Click Here to Check Out More of the Brian Ross Page In exchange for favorable treatment, prosecutors say, Kohli paid some or all of the rent on a luxury apartment in a midtown Manhattan high-rise, the Daag Hammarskold Towers on East 47th Street, for Bahel and his family. He eventually sold the apartment to Bahel, allegedly for much less than the market rate. A spokesman for the Secretary-General said the U.N. is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has suspended Bahel without pay since concluding an internal investigation Aug. 31. Bahel denied any wrongdoing to the Associated Press when the results of that U.N. inquiry came out, saying simply, "The allegations are not correct."

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus