(New York)-- United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan today declined comment about reports that several thousand dollars from the tens of billions due to Saddam Hussein and his Russian and French designees under the UN's "Oil-For-Velvet-Paintings" program may have been diverted by unscrupulous employees of NGO's to the purchase of food for needy Iraqis.
Ahmed Tawfiq of Baghdad, 51, insists that shortly after the program was instituted, a man who identified himself only as "Ali" gave him "UN baksheesh", with which he was able to purchase a month's supply of hummus and several pounds of kibbeh.
Mohammed Saleem, 36, also of Baghdad, confirms that he too received "hush-hush UN Saddam money" which he used to buy milk and vegetables for his family.
This outrageous diversion of funds overseen by the UN and specifically designated solely for the leisure purchases of genocidal thugs, Russian gangsters and French war profiteers is simply without precedent in the 50-odd-year history of the United Nations.
While refusing to concede the truth of the allegations, Secretary-General Annan said that he had deputized his son, Kojo, to "look into the matter to ensure that monies under the jurisdiction of the UN were not in fact actually put to some arguably benevolent and helpful use."