imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

UN halts probe into sex scandle!

by Colum Lynch Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2002 at 11:54 PM

The high level perverts are at it again, this time they are trying to cover their asses by halting an investigation into the UN...

U.N. Halted Probe of Officers' Alleged Role in Sex Trafficking

Lack of Support From Above, in Field Impeded Investigators

By Colum Lynch

Special to The Washington Post

Thursday, December 27, 2001; Page A17

UNITED NATIONS -- The United Nations quashed an investigation earlier this year into whether U.N. police were directly involved in the enslavement of Eastern European women in Bosnian brothels, according to U.N. officials and internal documents.

The decision to halt the investigation came when the U.N. Mission in Bosnia was reeling from the disclosure that several of its police officers had been dismissed for sexual misconduct.

David Lamb, a former Philadelphia police officer who served as a U.N. human rights investigator in Bosnia until April, said that in February he began to look into allegations against six Romanian, Fijian and Pakistani officers stationed in the town of Bijeljina.

The most serious charges, he said, were that two Romanian policemen had recruited Romanian women, purchased false documents for them and then sold the women to Bosnian brothel owners.

Within weeks, Lamb said, his preliminary inquiry found more than enough evidence to justify a full-scale criminal investigation. But Lamb and his colleagues said they also faced physical threats and were repeatedly stymied in their inquiries by their superiors, including a senior Ukrainian police officer who ordered an end to the investigation of the Romanians' conduct.

"I have to say there were credible witnesses, but I found a real reluctance on the part of the United Nations . . . leadership to investigate these allegations," Lamb said.

U.N. officials respond that they are committed to combating trafficking in women, but that a U.N. oversight team concluded there was insufficient evidence of systematic police involvement in the sex trade. They say it is difficult to penetrate the murky underworld of the Balkans and note that the responsibility for prosecuting U.N. police officers belongs to their home countries, not the United Nations.

According to some human rights advocates and former U.N. employees, the episode demonstrates the unwillingness or inability of the U.N.'s International Police Task Force (IPTF) in Bosnia to discipline its 1,600 officers from 48 countries.

The Washington Post reported in May that in the five years since international police officers were sent to help restore order in Bosnia, the U.N. police mission has faced numerous charges of misconduct, corruption and sexual impropriety. But in nearly every case, U.N. officials handled the allegations quietly by sending the officers home, often without a full investigation.

Two Americans also have filed whistleblower lawsuits alleging that they were fired by DynCorp, a private contractor that selects U.S. police to serve in Bosnia, because they had complained that fellow officers were patronizing brothels and purchasing women. DynCorp denied that the workers were fired for that reason.

But Lamb's investigation involved the most serious allegations yet: that some members of the IPTF directly participated in trafficking in women for forced prostitution.

Illicit Trade

Each year, thousands of Eastern European women, primarily from Ukraine, Moldova and Romania, are drawn to Bosnia with offers of employment as dancers, waitresses, bartenders or prostitutes. In some cases, their passports are taken, and they are sold to local brothel owners, according to human rights workers.

"Many of them think they are on their way to Italy to work as waitresses," said Martina Vandenberg, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who has investigated the Bosnian sex trade. "Some know that they will work as sex workers, but have no idea that they will be bought and sold as chattel and forced to work essentially as slaves."

Vandenberg said local brothel owners and Bosnian war profiteers turned from smuggling arms to trafficking in women after the end of the Bosnia war in 1995 and have established links to organized crime across Europe.

While the U.N. mission in Bosnia has taken an increasingly tough line against local brothel owners over the past two years, Vandenberg said it has not been "forthcoming when asked about cases of IPTF officers involved in trafficking, either as clients or as traffickers. That lack of transparency has sent a message that there is impunity for this."

U.N. officials respond that the IPTF has conducted dozens of raids against Bosnian brothels and has rescued more than 350 women who had been forced to serve as prostitutes.

After being criticized for ignoring allegations of involvement by U.N. police and peacekeepers, Jacques Klein, the U.N. secretary general's special representative to Bosnia, instructed his police commissioner in June to "ensure that each case is investigated."

ButKlein also argued in a letter to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that it would be a mistake to focus on the role of U.N. personnel as customers of brothels.

"Placing undue and unfair emphasis on U.N. peacekeepers diverts attention away from those ultimately responsible for trafficking. The focus of our efforts should be on corrupt government officials and members of organized crime who perpetrate the trade and allow it to flourish," he wrote.

When asked by a reporter this summer whether the United Nations had looked into allegations involving Romanian police officers, Klein and other U.N. officials in Bosnia denied any knowledge of an investigation. "I have absolutely no evidence, no record, and I'm unaware of any internal investigation into any alleged misconduct involving a Romanian police monitor," Klein said.

But, after weeks of denials, U.N. spokesmen in New York and Bosnia acknowledged that the Romanians had been the subject of internal U.N. inquiries. Confidential U.N. documents and interviews revealed that Romanian officers had been investigated by Lamb, then by a Canadian officer, by the Romanian government and finally by the Office of Internal Oversight, the U.N.'s chief anti-corruption unit.

Lamb outlined his findings in e-mails and a memo to the regional U.N. headquarters in Sarajevo. In an e-mail sent March 28 to five U.N. officers, he identified a Romanian, Constantin Dumitrescu, as one of five U.N. police officers who "were in some way linked to allegations of involvement in prostitution and women trafficking."

Lamb said his findings were based largely on interviews with Bosnian police sources and women who had fled from brothels and were awaiting deportation to their homelands.

The women said a Romanian officer and his wife were involved in the recruitment and sale of women, working out of a brothel near the Bosnian town of Zvornik. Lamb said investigators initially thought the officer was Dumitrescu, but further investigation shifted suspicion to a second Romanian officer, Julian Boros.

The United Nations has denied requests for interviews with Dumitrescu and Boros.


Another internal memo, written March 18 by one of Lamb's investigators, Pablo Badie of Argentina, said Boros admitted buying working documents from the Romanian embassy for two women but warned him to halt the inquiry.

"Stop immediately anything against Romanians," Boros told Badie, according to the memo. "Do not mess with me, neither with my colleague Dumitrescu. I'll not tell you more, but I think you can guess what can happen."

Rosario Ioanna, a Canadian officer, was assigned by the U.N. police's internal affairs bureau to follow up on the findings of Lamb and Badie. The confidential internal affairs report alleges that the Romanian officers sought to impede Ioanna's investigation, to remove four trafficking victims from police custody and to intimidate them during questioning.

Ioanna and Badie obtained a list from a trafficking victim of about 10 other Romanian officers who were patronizing brothels. Ioanna described a meeting at a Bijeljina cafe with two informants, identified in U.N. documents as Mr. S and Mr. P, who charged that Romanian officers served both as traffickers and as informers for local brothel owners.

In return for tipping off the brothels about police raids, one of the Romanians "was given a farm vehicle to work his farmland back in his country," the two informants told Ioanna, according to a March 19 report for the U.N. internal affairs Discipline and Internal Investigation Section.

Ioanna also told colleagues that the U.N.'s local brass had sought to shut down his investigation and let the Romanian government decide whether its officers were guilty. The U.N.'s Ukrainian police chief of staff, Oleh Savchenko, ordered him to ignore the Romanians and to limit his investigation to less serious charges of sexual misconduct -- primarily soliciting prostitutes -- against five policemen from Fiji and Pakistan, according to Lamb and two other people familiar with Ioanna's account.

The relatively minor accusations against four of the five officers, including the Pakistani station commander, were "substantiated" and the officers were sent home, according to a U.N. report. The fifth officer left the mission.

But the more serious charges languished.


In the meantime, some of the officers under investigation accused Ioanna and Badie of having sexual relations with local translators. A preliminary internal inquiry into the investigators' activities found no wrongdoing, according to U.N. officials.

Lamb believes the accusations were retaliation of a crude but common variety.

"This is the third case that I am aware of in which human rights officers have found themselves under fire for reporting or investigating IPTF involvement in prostitution/women trafficking," he wrote in an e-mail March 8 to Donald Haney, an IPTF officer who was conducting the inquiry.

Neither Savchenko nor Ioanna responded to requests for comment. Attempts to reach Badie in Bosnia and through his family in Argentina were unsuccessful.

The Office of Internal Oversight sent two investigators from New York to Bosnia on June 26 to conduct a preliminary inquiry into wider allegations of U.N. police involvement in sexual trafficking. The inquiry was requested by Mary Robinson, the U.N.'s high commissioner for human rights, and other senior U.N. officials to determine whether a formal investigation was warranted.

The investigators never contacted Lamb. Nor did they speak with U.N. police whistleblowers, such as Kathryn Bolkovac, an American officer who has accused U.N. police of complicity in sexual trafficking and is suing DynCorp. The company denied that Bolkovac was dismissed for pursuing the allegations.

Most importantly, the women who had initially made the allegations -- the key witnesses -- had left Bosnia.

On July 6, the oversight team reported that there were insufficient grounds to move ahead with a full-blown criminal investigation, according to the U.N.'s chief spokesman, Fred Eckhard.

"There will be no investigation," Eckhard said. "They did not find any evidence of systematic or organized involvement in human trafficking. They did make a number of recommendations of how the U.N. police could strengthen their role in combating human trafficking."

Marius Dragolea, charg d'affaires at Romania's mission to the United Nations, said a team from Romania's Interior Ministry also went to Bosnia in June to investigate rumors of Romanian police involvement in sexual trafficking. He said it concluded the allegations were unfounded.

"If these allegations were unhappily proved to be right, all those involved would be punished," Dragolea said. "Up to now, we have no evidence . . . of illegal activities concerning Romanian police. This is a conclusion also reached by the leadership of the IPTF."

© 2001 The Washington Post Company

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM


lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Celebrates 25 Years with the House of Hope Gala S24 7:10PM

Against the Rent Madness and For a Nonprofit Orientation! S24 11:56AM

Cybermonde, cyberguerre, cyberespace, cyberterrorisme S24 6:35AM

Paraphysique de psychosomatique S22 6:58AM

Chuck Grassley: Women Abusing, Animal Murdering, Illegal War Supporting Criminal S22 2:58AM

Finance Capitalism and the Digital Economy S21 4:45PM

Muselières syndicales, muselières patronales S21 7:19AM

Jeff Bezos, Amazon, The Washington Post, Whole Foods, Etc S21 2:50AM

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy