Lebanon: El Pais, UN peacekeepers illegally resold food

Anonymous source said most active were from Ghana and Italy

25 May, 10:12

    (ANSAmed) - Rome, May 25 - UN peacekeepers with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) are at the centre of a food-trafficking operation in Lebanon, according to a report by Spanish daily El Pais online. It said that two investigations are currently underway: one by the Lebanon Economy Ministry and the other by the UN. According to the newspaper, food that was marked for the troops, and therefore not authorised for sale, has been found for sale in numerous local supermarkets.

    UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti and Lebanon Economy Ministry General Director Alia Abbas were both contacted by El Pais and confirmed that investigations are underway, but didn't offer any additional details due to privacy.

    "Ghana (with 870 Blue Helmets) and Italy (with 1,206 soldiers, and currently in charge) are the two most active battalions in the illegal resale of food, among the five that have been reported," said R.D., one of the newspaper's informants, and another "six international and local UNIFIL workers". "UNIFIL took the appropriate measures, within the mission and in strict cooperation with UN General Headquarters," Tenenti told El Pais in an email, and added that speculation shouldn't be made until the investigation is complete.

    R.D. works for the Lebanon branch of Italian food supply company Es-Ko, which El Pais said "between 2006 and 2015 obtained multi-million-euro contracts for food distribution to UNIFIL troops".

    El Pais estimated that the scam was worth around four million euros over a five-year period. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean