A U.S federal jury convicted a Chinese citizen named Ng Lap Seng for Bribery and other crimes. Seng was the chairman of a Chinese Real Estate company when he committed the crimes. Seng is accused of bribing U.N. diplomats so that the real estate company he chaired can be awarded a contract to construct a U.N. conference center in Macau. Seng was convicted of giving bribes so that he can receive the contract promise.

How Seng committed the crimes

According to U.S prosecutors, Seng paid kickbacks to a former UN ambassador from the Dominican Republic named Francis Lorenzo.

He also bribed the former permanent diplomat of Antigua and Barbuda to the U.N Mr. John W. Ashe who was also the 68th President of the U.N General Assembly. Seng paid these bribes so that his company can be granted a contract to build a multi-billion dollar building for the U.N in Macau. Seng bribed ambassador Lorenzo by naming him as the president of a New York-based news organization he funded. He also sent payments from Macau to a company affiliated to Ambassador Lorenzo’s brother that is based in the Dominican Republic. He paid bribes to Ambassador Ashe as well as to his wife who worked as an 'adviser' for South-South News to raise funds for his role as President of the U.N General Assembly.

How both ambassadors used their influence at the U.N.

According to U.S. investigators, both diplomats submitted a document to the former U.N. Secretary General in February 2012 to support the development of the Macau Conference Center after receiving bribes. The report stressed that there is a need to build the center in Macau to support UN’s global development goals.

Seng also instructed the two ambassadors to pressure top U.N. officials that his company is a stakeholder in the Macau Conference Center project during negotiation processes.

Five other people have been charged in this case. Two have already pleaded guilty and are yet to be sentenced. One Shiwei Yan pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 months in jail.

Mr. Ashe died in June 2016 while waiting for trial.

Statements from U.S. Judiciary officials

Acting Assistant Attorney Blanco said that "Seng's attempt to hide the bribes as his philanthropy was outrageous and shameful." He also said that "corruption is a disease whose effect is corrosive on the rule of law and that it negatively affects good people." Acting U.S. Attorney Kim stated that "Seng continued to pursue fortunes by bribing U.N officials." He also said that "his illegal acts turned leaders into his private band of profiteers."