US government probes alleged UN bribery scheme: WSJ

A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
A United Nations logo is seen on a glass door in the Assembly Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York. PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGALORE (REUTERS) - United States law enforcement authorities are investigating an alleged bribery scheme involving payments to officials at the United Nations to gain support for real estate developments in Macau, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The investigation, led by the office of the US attorney in Manhattan and the FBI, centres on alleged bribery by Chinese businesspeople, the newspaper reported.

The number of UN officials involved in the alleged scheme and their identities were not known, the newspaper said. (http://on.wsj.com/1OiNFlz) Last month's arrests of Macau real-estate mogul Ng Lap Seng, and his assistant, Jeff Yin, are connected to the alleged scheme and additional charges are expected to be announced as early as Tuesday (Oct 6) against a number of other people, including current or former UN officials, the Journal said.

US authorities charged Ng, a real estate developer from the Chinese territory Macau, and his principal assistant for engaging in a two-year scheme to import over US$4.5 million (S$6.4 million ) into the United States under false pretenses.

Reuters could not immediately reach the Manhattan US Attorney's office and representatives at the UN for comment.