Photo: Anadolu Agency
Photo: Anadolu Agency

New York, 13 Muharram 1437/26 October 2015 (MINA) –  U.S. federal prosecutors on Tuesday indicted a former UN General Assembly president for engaging in a broad bribery scheme.

The indictment of John Ashe and four others in a Manhattan federal court came two weeks after his arrest in New York, Anadolu Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

In a complaint filed Oct. 6, Ashe is accused of taking more than $1.3 million in bribes from several Chinese businessmen, including Ng Lap Seng, a prominent real estate developer based in the Chinese territory of Macau.

Ashe, 61, who is from Antigua and Barbuda, performed official actions for the businessmen within the UN and his home country in exchange for bribes, according to the complaint.

In one instance, $500,000 was wired into Ashe’s account by Ng, who was seeking to build a multibillion dollar, UN-sponsored conference center in Macau, the complaint alleged.

In exchange, Ashe submitted an official document to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that claimed there was a need to build the center, it added.

Alongside Ashe and Ng, others indicted in the conspiracy were identified as Shiwei Yan, 57, Francis Lorenzo, 48, and Jeff Yin, 29.

On Oct. 8, Ban ordered an audit of all dealings between the world body and two foundations — Global Sustainability Foundation and the Sun Kian Ip Group — led by Ng and Yan, respectively.

Ashe was elected to lead the 193-member General Assembly in 2013 while serving in the dual capacity as his country’s permanent representative to the UN and the World Trade Organization.

The charges against him reportedly came as part of a widening probe into Ng, who was arrested by FBI agents in New York last month and charged with bringing more than $4.5 million in cash to the U.S. under false pretenses.

Ng is said to have close relations to the Chinese government and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a senior political advisory body. (T/P010/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)