Monday 24 February 2020

Dutch nationals jailed in Britain for UN drugs corruption

justice courts legal systemTwo Dutch nationals who worked as consultants to the UN have been jailed by a British court for receiving bribes to rig contracts to supply life-saving drugs to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Guardian reports.

Guido Bakker, 41, who lives in the Netherlands, and Sijbrandus Scheffer, 63, took payments totalling £650,000 from Danish drugs company Missionpharma in return for helping them win lucrative contracts, the paper says.

‘It is corruption in the context of a very large grant for the relief of disease in one of the most deprived countries on earth,’ judge Michael Grieve said on Wednesday as he sentenced the two men to jail terms.

The UN began investigating the men in 2006. According to the Guardian, in one email to Bakker in 2006 about how to ‘make loads of cash now’, Scheffer wrote: ‘Clearly supplying small amounts of grossly overpriced drugs to dying and starving Africans is a very good start.’

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