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After Ng Bribery Conviction, He Remains in $4M Apartment, ICP Asks of UN Connections

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video and audio

UNITED NATIONS, August 7 – After the UN bribery verdict of six guilty counts against Ng Lap Seng was delivered by the jury on July 27, on August 7 Judge Vernon S. Broderick allowed Ng to remain under house arrest, at least pending sentencing. Ng's $4 million 47th Street apartment, across the street from what was the office of his South South News, was called "not large" despite its 3,100 square feet. On August 7, he was allowed to remain out of jail. In the hearing, which Inner City Press attended, it emerged that Ng has had a closed-door masseuse four to ten hours a day, who also cooked for Ng's guards for "Guidepost Solutions LLC," whose Brendan P. Finn acknowledged visitors are not body searched and conversations in Chinese are not understood. Inner City Press rushed north to the UN and at Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman's noon briefing asked for a list of any UN affiliated person has visited or had contact with Ng since his indictment in October 2015. Video here. The spokesman, Stephane Duajrric, said no, apparently without checking. Ng has hired Paul D. Clement for his appeal. It's a nice life if you've got money. More to follow. Inner City Press began asking the UN about the people still at the UN who were shown to have worked for or taking money from Ng, or both. So far the UN has done nothing. For example, the trial exposed the role of Carlos Garcia, former Salvadoran Ambassador and since then a bridge for NGOs, in helping "free" Lorenzo's bribe money from Ng. On August 4, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: has to do with the Ng Lap Seng case, believe it or not.  In the case, among the evidence that… that came out leading to the guilty verdict was evidence of former Permanent Representative of El Salvador, Carlos Garcia, assisting Francis Lorenzo in getting ill-gotten gains released from the Dominican Republic.  I've asked you about him before because, since serving as a permanent representative, he seems to be a kind of bridge to NGOs [non-governmental organizations].  He had an NGO called Global Governance for the UNSDGs.  I still see him around 1B squiring people around.  So, my request to you is, given… and, again I don't know if OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] tracked the case or not.  Given what was shown on the screen and put into evidence regarding his assistance in Mr. Francis Lorenzo getting bribe money released, does he have some, he has some kind of a pass.  Is there some kind of emeritus status for diplomats, or how it does it work?

Spokesman:  I'm not aware of any em… emeritus, yeah, emeritus status except for journalists, so I will look into it.  Thank you.

  We'll see - and we'll follow up. For further example, during the trial an email was shown that current UN official Meena Sur emailed back and forth helping on the brochure for Ng's fraudulent UN conference center.  But even today, in the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management organogram, Meena Sur is the chief of the "Documents Management Section." Documents for Ng Lap Seng. There is a history here: for the Dominican Republic mission, that is Francis Lorenzo, Meena Sur was also involved with a shadowy IGO "World Sports Alliance," heavily involved in mining but not sports. See for example this: "The World Sports Alliance (WSA) team briefed President Leonel Fernandez on his 19th September visit to Baruch College of the City University of New York during Hispanic Heritage Month. The World Sports Alliance is a multi-stakeholder partnership launched by XL Generation Foundation, Give Them a Hand Foundation, and the Informal Regional Network of the NGO Section/DESA that uses sports to create local economic development and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Ambassador Francis Lorenzo of the Mission of the Dominican Republic to the UN facilitated the meeting. Ms. Meena Sur, Programme Officer of the NGO Section/DESA, Mr. Gordon Tapper,
President of Give them a Hand Foundation, as well as Mr. Alain Lemieux, President of
the WSA, attended the President’s speech at the college as Special Guests of thePermanent Mission of the Dominican Republic." More on this soon - who in the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services followed up on any of this? The UN is corrupt - and incompetent. DGACM's UN Journal for August 3 calls that day, a Thursday, "Tuesday." Photo here. We will continue on this. Where is OIOS under Heidi Mendoza? They never followed up on the blatant conflict of interest of DPI chief Gallach, who appears in OIOS' own cover-up audit of the Ng Ashe affair, in evicting Inner City Press, and leaving it still restricted. The UN is corrupt.
UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq who has repeatedly dodged questions about the case from Inner City Press was quoted by Reuters that the UN was "a victim of these crimes" and later that "We are exploring the possibility of requesting restitution as a victim to these crimes, including recovering expenses incurred to provide the requested cooperation." On July 31, Inner City Press asked Haq's also holdover boss Stephane Dujarric to explain how this could be, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: last week, as you know, Ng Lap Seng was found guilty in one day on six charges of bribery, foreign corrupt practices act, money-laundering.  And I just want… I really want to understand this.  I've been looking at the idea that the UN will be… is… considers itself a victim of the case and will be requesting restitution as a victim.  And I wanted to understand.  It was said by Farhan [Haq], and I didn't have a chance to ask him about… is this just OLA [Office of Legal Affairs] trying to… in the same way as Haiti cholera, cover itself by saying we're a victim, we bear no responsibility, or is it literally António Guterres' position that the UN should be paid for a process in which its own DGACM [Department of General Assembly and Conference Management] gave a document to the guy?  There are still people here that worked on the proposal… I want to understand…

Spokesman:  I think the overall point is that the UN was used for what it appears for criminal activity by the gentleman who was found guilty.

Inner City Press:  Right, but what about the office South-South Cooperation?  Is there any guilt on the side of the UN side? Mr. Yiping Zhu that left immediately upon the indictment, is… was he victimized?  Did he not understand what he was doing?

Spokesman:  Mr. Yiping Zhu is no longer a staff member of this organization.

Inner City Press:  Right, but doesn't an organization have some responsibility for what its people do?

Spokesman:  I will leave it at that.

  We won't. Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Haq on July 28 to explain how the UN is the victim, and how it dares say it should be get for corruption. Video 8 from Minute 8:40. Haq said, This is the position of our Legal Council. Now Inner City Press has asked above. Watch this site. The UN even refused to tell the prosecution whom it spoke to for its Task Force Report, which said it has no ethical standards. The UN will ask for money, while paying nothing to the 10,000 people it killed in Haiti? Reuters doesn't even raise that - it has a conflict of interest.  UN official Ion Butnaru put the name of Ng's company Sun Kian Ip Group into a General Assembly resolution long after it was voted on, took a free trip to Macau and an iPad there. Victim? Ng's company South South News bought full page ads in the ball program of the UN Correspondents Association, then went to their ball at Cipriani and got photos with then Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. (Reuters then as now had a seat on UNCA's board, something not disclosed in its coverage of Ng and the UN). A current UN official Meena Sur was shown in the trial to have held on Ng's brochure for his planned Macau conference Center. The UN remains UNreformed. Inner City Press, which has covered the scandal from the beginning and remains restricted by the UN for its coverage, rushed down to the courthouse and asked Ng Lap Seng, as he left by the side door to Worth Street, what he thinks of the UN and those there who took his money and favors, a list well beyond John Ashe and Francis Lorenzo. Periscope video here. He did not answer, understandable. He will be back in court on August 7 for arguments on if his house arrest can continue. Before Ng left, Inner City Press witnessed his lawyers leaving. They told the judge they will appeal. But now that Ng is guilty, will the UN act on those exposed as corrupt, and reverse its censorship?

 Ng Lap Seng's $3 billion UN convention center plan had been assisted by Meena Sur, still working for the UN Department of General Assembly and Conference Management. Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman Farhan Haq, who dodged by saying the UN was waiting for the verdict. But the UN is not on trial, because it has and cited immunity.

Likewise, high UN official Navid Hanif attended Ng Lap Seng's murky event in Macau in August 2015, and remains at at the UN. Spokesman Haq refused to answer about him, while telling Inner City Press that lower UN staff member Frances Fuller “separated from service” in September 2016, just after Inner City Press asked about her.

Francis Lorenzo, who took more money from Ng than the now deceased John Ashe, was given a email address by DGACM despite never being pictured among Ashe's Special Advisers, and never giving up his day job as the Dominican Republic's Deputy Permanent Representative.

Even on July 26, DGACM's Executive Officer told Inner City Press that the UN still hands such UN credential to anyone whom a President of the General Assembly tells them too. So nothing has been reformed.

The Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach took Ng Lap Seng's money for its slavery memorial, and allowed fraudulent events in the UN lobby. But UN lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who allowed the content of Ng's South South News to be included in UNTV archives under his watch, said this was just an issue of “judgment,” not malfeasance.

The UN Correspondents Association, to whom Dujarric “lent” the UN Press Briefing Room then evicted and still restricts Inner City Press for seeking to cover the event to see if they discussed taking South South News' money and providing a venue for Ng's photo op with Ban Ki-moon, did not have a single member correspondent covering the month-long UN bribery case. Other dubious events were being hosted.

And so, while awaiting the jury's verdict on Ng Lap Seng - which may be not guilty given how corrupt the UN and the star witness against him Francis Lorenzo have been shown to be - it is clear that the UN has not reformed and remains corruption and a censor, seven months into the reign of “new” Secretary General Antonio Guterres. It is the UN that should be prosecuted, or invited to leave. Watch this site.

Legal footnotes: counsel to Ng Lap Seng, Park Jensen Bennett, Partners Tai H Park and Douglas Jensen in New York; and Alexandra Shapiro in New York; Assistant US attorneys Douglas Zolkind, Janis Echenberg and Daniel Richenthal of the US Attorney’s Office, David Last, on detail with the criminal division fraud section's FCPA unit.


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