US prosecutors have indicted relatives of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accusing them of trying to bribe a Middle Eastern official over the attempted US$800 million sale of a building in Hanoi. Photo: AFP
US prosecutors have indicted relatives of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accusing them of trying to bribe a Middle Eastern official over the attempted US$800 million sale of a building in Hanoi. Photo: AFP

UN distances itself from Ban family graft scandal

Brother and nephew of former secretary-general facing charges in US over bid to sell Vietnam office building

January 12, 2017 9:27 AM (UTC+8)

Corruption charges against the relatives of former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon do not concern the United Nations, a spokesman for the body said Wednesday.

Ban’s brother, Ban Ki Sang, and nephew, Joo Hyun Bahn, have been indicted in a US court over an alleged attempt to bribe a Middle Eastern official regarding the sale of a building in Vietnam.

A 39-page indictment unsealed on Tuesday lists charges of corruption, money laundering and conspiracy against the relatives of the former UN chief, who stepped down on December 31.

“The indictment that was unsealed yesterday is not one that concerns the United Nations, and I have no comment on it,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

US prosecutors allege that the conspiracy took place between March 2013 and May 2015 over the attempted sale of a commercial and residential complex in Hanoi, built and owned by Keangnam Enterprises, a South Korean construction company.

The UN spokesman noted that when reports began to surface about the allegations, Ban Ki-moon said he had “no knowledge of his nephew’s activities and whereabouts.”

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