Thursday, 29 January 2009

The world’s greatest corruption case

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently

Friedrich Nietzsche

The global economy is tanking. And it wasn’t so long ago that some mortgage lenders in the US would make loans to people who didn’t even have any income from employment with which to repay the loan! The bet was simply that house prices would continue to go on rising and the borrower could simply remortgage at a later date and use the capital gains to repay the mortgage. But fantasies never last. We all have to wake up. And now many are waking up to a nightmare. How they must wish they were still asleep!

However, corporate greed is one thing and even the money-fixated CEOs of the world’s largest corporations could never have dreamed up a corruption scheme that was so grand in scope that its tentacles extended across the whole globe and implicated politicians and ruling elites in every continent.

This was the UN’s so-called oil-for-food programme: a grandiose US$60bn (£32bn) scheme which was, and I quote here, “supposed to allow Iraq to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian supplies with the proceeds of regulated oil sales, without breaking the sanctions imposed on it after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait”.

So what happened?

Well, Iraq had a leader called Saddam Hussein. And with so much money at stake, Saddam came up with a plan. Bribe. Bribe the whole damn world!

Saddam handed out “oil vouchers” to important politicians which the recipients could then redeem at a later date at huge profits (the vouchers allowed the owner to “sell on” a certain amount of Iraqi oil). As their names were not recorded on the vouchers, the politicians believed they were taking no risks and that they could never be traced.

And they would have pulled it off but for one thing – Bush invaded Iraq.

And then the truth came out because the Iraqis had diligently kept records of whom they had given the vouchers to!!

Uh oh!!!!!

And then the Iraqis published the information for the whole world to see!

Uh oh!!!!!

Now that’s probably not what Kofi Annan wanted to happen!

On the list are about 270 people including UN officials, politicians and companies.

And it makes fascinating reading.

In Indonesia, for example, two contenders for this year’s presidential race in that country are on the list (I wonder if the people in Indonesia know that?).

Other recipients include a former interior minister of France, the former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and a whole bunch of Russians including a former U.S.S.R. prime minister.

You can see the Iraqi’s list for yourself here.


Raj said...

Very Nice Information of The world's greatest corruption case.