More than 4,500 companies took part in the United Nations oil-for-food program and more than half of them paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, according to the independent committee investigating the program.
The country with the most companies involved in the program was Russia, followed by France, the committee says in a report to be released Thursday.
Claudia Rosett writes on IHC
What next might turn up in the IHC saga depends on a number of investigations. But in an era when many authorities are worried about the transit of millions across borders and the enforcement of good governance, it appears the U.N. has been serving as a bazaar in which corruption, conflicts of interest and shadowy financial networks have found ways to set up shop. Behind the maze, who was the real owner of IHC during its nine years of doing big business with the U.N.? The U.N. won’t say, and quite possibly does not even know. Its policy, in fact, was not even to ask.