ISLAMABAD: The 'baboos' of the Ministry of Interior have found a new way of minting dollars. They sent a fake letter to the United Nations demanding extension in stay of police officers posted in peacekeeping missions abroad. In lieu of this 'service,' they were bribed handsomely in dollars by police officers enlisted in those fake letters.
A group of bureaucrats in the Ministry of Interior has sent a fake letter with the signatures of a deputy secretary to the headquarters of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in New York and recommended the names of 35 police officers based in Sudan for their one-year extension with the peacekeeping mission against heavy financial favours, reliable sources told ‘The News’.
“The fake letter, caught by the Ministry of Interior, involved $140,000 as the officials embroiled in the scam received at least $4,000 (over Rs13 million) from every police officer for one-year extension in their tenure in Sudan,” sources disclosed.
The scam came to the fore when the administration of the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in New York, honouring the request of the Government of Pakistan, approved the extension of Pakistani peacekeepers.
Sources revealed that an officer of police, at present based in Sudan, who especially visited Pakistan, managed the deal between the concerned officers of the Ministry of Interior and 35 police officers, who were granted one-year extension on the fake letter, sources disclosed.
Sources claimed that the officials received bribe of at least 2,000 dollars to include the names of fresh police officers selected for the UN Peacekeeping Mission. Each year, police officers from UN member countries, including Pakistan, are deployed to various United Nations Peacekeeping Missions across the globe. These officers are either deployed as civilian police officers (CIVPOL) or as professional police officers on the recommendation of member states. In addition, member states also deploy their contingents as formed police units (FPUs) to support the peacekeeping missions.
The Ministry of Interior coordinates deployment of these officers through its Permanent Mission at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, which in turn manages deployments, rotations and extensions of its officers with the UN Police Division, which is also based at the UN Secretariat in New York. The UN Secretariat is responsible for deployment of officers and contingents in different peacekeeping missions.
Currently, there are 17 UN peacekeeping missions deployed across four continents. Pakistan being the member of the UN also regularly contributes its police officers for deployment to these missions. The normal period of deployment to a mission is generally 12 months.
However, the services of police officers can be extended either on the request of the member state or by the UN Mission as per the requirements on ground nevertheless the concurrence of the UN and member state is mandatory.
The officers, who are seconded to these missions, are paid mission subsistence allowance by the United Nations that compensates for their challenging assignments in these conflict areas. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top officer of the Ministry of Interior said that the extension letter was withdrawn immediately and 35 police officials in Darfur, Sudan, will come back home this month. He said that further as a policy, all extensions have been discontinued forthwith to facilitate posting of 400 selected police officials in four foreign UN Missions, who are awaiting orders for the same, adding that they would, probably, leave for their station the next month.”
The intelligence and investigation agencies are investigating the case to mark the officials embroiled in the scam, sources said. They added that a deputy secretary and a section officer of the Ministry of Interior have been found guilty and a report has been submitted to the adviser to the prime minister on interior.