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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rice fraud (1)

Rice fraud (1)

In regard to the photo caption on page 2 ( "Government in $2 million rice fraud",

Post, Aug 27, 2004) "Hansen kept quiet about the discovery two days before of

a massive rice theft racket throughout the WFP's network."

The World Food Program began its investigations immediately after the first diversion

was verified on February 28. Our intention was to inform the donor community as soon

as we had gathered reliable and accurate information on the nature and extent of

the fraud.

The [rice] handover ceremony with the Japanese officials in the photo you used was

held two days after we began investigating. It would have been irresponsible and

inappropriate for Ms Hansen to use the occasion of a donor ceremony scheduled weeks

earlier to release sketchy, unconfirmed reports of the diversions.

In fact, the briefing with donors was held just 10 days later, on March 9. Her swift

action has been praised by the donor community as a model of transparency.

Ram Saravanamuttu - Acting Country Director, World Food Program

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