Geneva-based NGO victim of 'significant fraud'

28th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Geneva-based peace mediator said Saturday that it has been the victim of "significant fraud," after some three million euros were found to have been siphoned off by its ex-finance director.

"The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre), an independent mediation organisation, recently discovered that it has been the victim of a significant fraud by its former Director of Finance and Administration," a statement said.

Auditors commissioned by the non-governmental organisation found that the fraud reached 3.8 million francs (2.9 million euros, 3.7 million dollars), added the centre, which brokered a peace agreement ending the Aceh conflict.

The unnamed finance director is however disputing the sum. His lawyer Nicola Meier told newspaper Tribune de Geneve that he had misappropriated 1.3 million francs.

Besides mediating in Indonesia's Aceh, the NGO has played a key peacemaker role in locations such as Sudan, Somalia and the Philippines.

It most recently brokered a historic agreement between the Sudanese rebel group JEM and the United Nations on the protection of children caught up in the Darfur conflict.

© 2010 AFP

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