bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Beekeeping caught up in Iraq's Oil for Food scandal

A Kiwi beekeeping company has been accused of benefiting illegally from Iraq's Oil for Food programme. The Independent Inquiry Committee investigating corruption in the $US60 billion Oil for Food programme has named 2400 companies -- among them the well-established Ecroyd Beekeeping Supplies in Christchurch which it says supplied $US273,000 of honey extractors and pesticide with the New Zealand government's endorsement.

The New Zealand Government is investigating, but the suggestion is that the company is innocent.

Ecroyd owner Stuart Ecroyd said the beekeeping equipment was sent about three years ago. It had been “signed off” by then Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff. The ministry also intervened when the shipment was held up at Jordan and $70,000 was demanded for its release. Once the ministry got involved, the problem was “sorted out” within days.

The equipment was ordered and paid for by the UN, not the Iraqi government, he said. “It was all pretty high-level stuff, so we sure as hell didn't think there was anything dodgy going on.” Foreign Affairs spokesman James Kember said both firms had applied to the UN for exemptions to trade sanctions. The ministry had assisted with their applications and gave government approval.
See Update -- no evidence against Ecroyd.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My thought is the company would not take such a chance knowingly, they have too much to lose.

2:16 am  

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