Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Former UN General Assembly Boss Arrested for Corruption

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The recent president of the United Nations General Assembly, a key player in designing everything from the UN Sustainable Development Goals to a sought-after UN “climate” regime, was arrested last week on corruption charges in the United States. According to U.S. prosecutors, former UN General Assembly President John Ashe (shown second from right), a globalist bureaucrat from Antigua and Barbuda, took millions in bribes from a Chinese businessman with deep ties to the brutal communist regime — he has also been a major financier of the U.S. Democrat Party and the Clinton machine. In exchange for the bribes, then-UN leader Ashe helped the Chinese operative advance his agenda with the UN and the corrupt government of his Caribbean homeland.

The arrest and apparent crackdown on UN corruption by U.S. prosecutors were almost universally praised as a good start. However, critics and anti-corruption campaigners say Ashe's alleged criminality is just the tip of a iceberg of corruption at an institution widely ridiculed as the “dictators club.” The Manhattan U.S. attorney on the case, Preet Bharara, wondered publicly whether the criminality at the UN — much of which is protected under “diplomatic immunity” offered to UN officials — is systemic. “There is a lot more work to do,” declared Bharara, saying prosecutors had only scratched the surface. “We will be asking: Is bribery business-as-usual at the UN?” Critics and experts on the subject, including whistleblowers, have long maintained that it is.   

“If proven, today’s charges will confirm that the cancer of corruption that plagues too many local and state governments infects the United Nations as well,” Bharara said in a statement unveiling the charges. “As alleged, for Rolexes, bespoke suits, and a private basketball court, John Ashe, the 68th President of the UN General Assembly, sold himself and the global institution he led. United in greed, the defendants allegedly formed a corrupt alliance of business and government, converting the UN into a platform for profit. We will continue to do everything we can to root out public corruption — whether we find it in a city council, in Albany, or as here, in the United Nations.” Officials at the IRS and the FBI also offered statements on the case.  

According to the criminal complaint unsealed in federal court last week, Ashe had been soliciting bribes from Chinese “businesspeople” to influence actions of the UN since about 2011. He also solicited and received bribes while serving as the UN ambassador from Antigua and as chief of the UN General Assembly — an autocrat-dominated outfit that globalists and dictatorships around the world hope to empower as a sort of veto-proof legislature ruling over all of humanity, or an “emblem of global sovereignty,” as a coalition of more than 130 regimes recently put it while calling for a “New World Order.” Ashe served as UN General Assembly president until last year.  

Among the charges unsealed by U.S. prosecutors is conspiracy, with a number of other officials and operatives also implicated in the corruption. A key player in the schemes was billionaire Chinese Communist developer Ng Lap Seng, who was paying the bribes and was arrested last month in New York for bringing millions of dollars in cash into the United States under false pretenses. He is facing a broad array of new charges related to the UN corruption scandal. According to U.S. prosecutors, Ng first met Ashe in Macau in 2011, hoping to advance various interests at the UN and in Antigua, including the establishment of a UN conference center in China.

Ng also has a long history of legal troubles. In 1996, for example, he used a proxy to pour over $1 million into the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton-Gore campaign, according to media reports. “Scandal was joined by embarrassment when it turned out that Ng had been favored with 10 visits to the White House,” reported the left-wing Daily Beast, adding that the supposed “businessman” has “ties to the upper levels of the Chinese government and possibly its intelligence services.” Of course, virtually all successful businessmen in Communist China have extensive ties to the mass-murdering regime in Beijing — hence their success. Estimates suggest Ng is worth around $2 billion.

The federal complaint says that Ashe, who met with Obama in 2013, first received a family trip to New Orleans, including first-class airline tickets and a luxury hotel suite, paid for by the Chinese businessman. Ashe then arranged a meeting between Ng and the prime minister of Antigua, who also received large bribes. After that, Ashe continued to demand more bribes, using the Chinese money to install a private basketball court at his mansion in New York, pay his mortgage, lease a luxury car, and more. “In exchange for the payments from Ng, among other actions, Ashe submitted a UN document to the UN secretary general, which claimed that there was a purported need to build the UN Macau Conference Center,” according to the U.S. attorney's complaint.

Another UN diplomat involved in the criminal scheming, Francis Lorenzo from the Dominican Republic, also agreed to hire Ashe's wife as a “climate change consultant,” earning $2,500 per month. Ashe linked up various Chinese nationals to other UN officials, too. Other alleged Communist Chinese criminals, co-defendants Shiwei Yan and Heidi Hong Piao, also funneled close to a million dollars to Ashe in exchange for more influence at the UN and within the government of Antigua, prosecutors said. As The New American has documented extensively, the regime in Beijing now has its agents embedded at the top of numerous powerful UN agencies.

Also at the center of the corruption scandal is a non-governmental organization, or NGO, ostensibly aimed at advancing the implementation of the UN's widely ridiculed Millennium Development Goals. The New York-based outfit, which featured UN Ambassador Lorenzo as its “Honorary President,” was founded by Ng and was allegedly used to funnel huge amounts of bribes to various corrupt UN officials and their families. Numerous other UN-linked “foundations” and non-profit organizations have also been implicated in the corruption scandals, reportedly including the Sun Kian Ip Group foundation and the Global Sustainability Foundation.   

According to prosecutor Daniel Richenthal, Ashe admitted taking bribes after his arrest last week. “Over the course of years he accepted millions of dollars in bribes in various forms, some of which he admitted after he was arrested today,” Richenthal said in court. By contrast, Ashe's attorney, Robert Van Lierop, was quoted as saying that his client has a “sterling reputation” and would not be fleeing the country. “We will fight the charges and he will be acquitted,” Van Lierop said. Of course, like all UN officials and operatives, Ashe had diplomatic immunity during his tenure at the helm of the UN General Assembly and while serving as a diplomat. That could make a prosecution more tricky.

However, because Ashe applied for permanent residence in the United States, and because he failed to report the bribes — more than $1.2 million in 2013 and 2014 alone — at least some of the charges will not be going away so easily. “IRS-Criminal Investigation is committed to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes, regardless of an individual’s position, wealth or prominence,” said Thomas Bishop, acting special agent in charge of the New York Field Office of the IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Everyone is expected to report all of their income, even if the income comes from an illegal source, including bribes. We are always ready to partner with the United States Attorney’s and the FBI on investigations involving allegations of misuse of positions of public trust and their impact on tax compliance.”

Meanwhile, the UN feigned surprise, with a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon claiming that his boss had not been made aware of the investigation prior to the arrests last week. Ban “was shocked and deeply troubled to learn of the allegations, which go to the heart of the integrity of the UN,” claimed spokesman Stephane Dujarric at a daily press briefing, adding that the UN chief's staff “have no recollection of any discussion between John Ashe and the Secretary-General relating to a center in Macau.” Apparently responding to the U.S. attorney's question about whether corruption was business-as-usual for the global outfit, Dujarric also claimed: “Corruption is not business as usual at the UN.” Dujarric claimed the UN would cooperate with the investigation, too.   

Bharara made clear that the corruption investigation into the UN would continue, and suggested that more people could still face criminal charges. News reports have indicated that questions also surround Ashe's successor at the head of the UN General Assembly, Uganda's Sam Kutesa. While some globalist voices are calling for the UN to create a new “international court” for corruption, a more reality-based solution would be for the U.S. government to withdraw membership in, and funding for, the UN. Beyond the pervasive corruption, the so-called “dictators club” represents a dangerous tool for undermining national sovereignty and advancing radical global agendas — as seen most recently with its adoption of the plot for global socialism marketed as the “Sustainable Development Goals.” The UN's vision also runs directly counter to American traditions of liberty, individual rights, self-government, and more.

Legislation to end U.S. membership in the UN and evict it from American soil, dubbed the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, is already sitting in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The move would also remove immunity from UN operatives. But for the bill to move forward, the American people will have to demand it. Perhaps the latest corruption mega-scandal can serve as the straw that breaks the camel's back.

 

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is normally based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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