NEW YORK – The ongoing FOX News investigation into the U.N. procurement department scandal has uncovered a possible link between a major U.N. contractor and a businessman who has been fingered as an Al Qaeda financier.
The trail begins at IHC Services (search), a company that has been involved in hundreds of millions of dollars of business with the United Nations. IHC, which helps other companies win U.N. contracts, was sold in June just before the scandal in the U.N. procurement department broke.
The FOX News investigation found that the former owner of IHC was a Luxembourg firm called Torno S.A.H. and that a major shareholder until June was a man named Engelbert Schreiber, Jr. (search), who is known to have business ties to a man named Ahmed Idris Nasreddin (search).
Nasreddin has been named by the United Nations as a money man for Al Qaeda (search). Schreiber has not responded to numerous interview requests from FOX.
FOX News found that the son of a U.N. procurement official, Alexander Yakovlev (search), worked at IHC. Yakovlev has since pleaded guilty to stashing nearly $1 million in bribes in an offshore bank account.
The FOX News investigation also found that IHC had a connection to Petra Navigation, a shipping company in Jordan that in the 1990s landed on the U.S Treasury's list of companies that violated U.N. sanctions against Iraq. The company's Baghdad office remains on the U.S. Treasury list.
IHC has for some time had ties to the United Nations. The contractor was once run by Giandomenico Picco (search), a U.N. diplomat who had served as Secretary-General Kofi Annan's personal representative with the title of undersecretary-general.
FOX News asked if the United Nations had a policy of doing background checks on companies it does business with, including taking a look at the owners. A spokesman for Annan said the policy was not to demand any such information. According to the United Nations, this policy is now under review.