Speakeasy forum

General discussion

Theft and Mismanagement Charged at U.N. Weather Agency

by Mark5019 / February 8, 2005 11:47 PM PST

he tempest inside the World Meteorological Organization began with a single check.

An accountant working late one night in July 2003 at the United Nations-affiliated weather agency in Geneva spotted a check that he had signed, but noticed that someone had endorsed it to an unknown third party, one L. Khalil. The accountant's curiosity was piqued, and he began nosing around.

"Within half an hour I had found about 25 checks worth about $400,000 that had not gone to where they were supposed to go," said the accountant, Luckson Ngwira.

That led to a formal audit and a continuing criminal investigation by Swiss authorities at the sleepy agency, focusing on allegations of embezzlement of training funds by Muhammad Hassan, a Sudanese employee who controlled that money. Investigators allege in documents and interviews that Mr. Hassan stole as much as $3 million over three or four years.

This might be a simple embezzlement case, except that in addition to the money, Mr. Hassan is missing as well. A woman claiming to be Mr. Hassan's wife filed a death certificate, which Sudanese officials have told investigators is fake.

The investigation and the ensuing tumult has rocked an agency where excitement usually only comes with extreme weather. "This is bigger than Ben Hur," said Kathleen Charles, who was the agency's chief administrator before resigning in late 2003. "It has kept growing and growing."

The agency, which aims to coordinate and improve weather reporting around the globe, is small by United Nations standards, with just


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Theft and Mismanagement Charged at U.N. Weather Agency
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Theft and Mismanagement Charged at U.N. Weather Agency
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Is their anything UN worth
by Jerry562 / February 9, 2005 12:55 AM PST

saving or just WWII memories to fall back on? How could we spend the money better in 2005?

Collapse -
beats me
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 3:43 AM PST

all i know is i signed pettion to send the un off the usa continent

Collapse -
Any bureaucracy is plagued by embezzlement, just
by Ziks511 / February 9, 2005 4:53 PM PST

ask every US corporation that has ever existed. But that doesn't mean I agree with it. Throw the creep in jail when they find him.

Rob Boyter

Collapse -
oh and i suppose theres nothing
by Mark5019 / February 9, 2005 10:19 PM PST

wrong in canadas corps.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.