Thursday, January 27, 2005

Tsunami: Well it didn't take long for corruption stories to come out from the Aid effort as a United Nations anti-corruption watchdog arrested for allegedly stealing supplies.

In a furore that threatens to undermine faith in the $10 billion relief effort, Farid Faqih, chairman of Government Watch and a leading United Nations contractor in Aceh, was in police custody yesterday after being apprehended by Indonesian air force officers. Last night the United Nations said it was conducting its own investigation into the claims. But at a press conference in Jakarta, Government Watch representatives insisted Mr Faqih had removed the aid for safekeeping. A spokesman for the Indonesian military, Colonel D. J. Nachrowi, told the Herald that Mr Faqih had improperly removed medical supplies, hundreds of cooking stoves and other aid from the central depot at Banda Aceh airport. Mr Faqih was arrested with three members of the Islamic Defenders Front, who allegedly assisted in the removal. The military then found large quantities of international aid in three warehouses operated by Mr Faqih.
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! " The sad part is he is one of many who are skimming off supplies.

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