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UN anti-drug office probes corruption claims

UN anti-drug office calls for probe after adviser's resignation over 'irregularities'

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today called for an independent investigation after one of its advisers resigned, citing allegations of corruption in the body.

UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said he was taking the allegations very seriously and that he was examining the matters with the help of his senior managers.

"The severity of the allegations brought to my attention deserves a most thorough examination. They were made public without prior consultations with me, or without me having been alerted beforehand," he said in a statement from UNODC's headquarters in Vienna.

His comments follow the resignation of Samuel González-Ruiz, an inter-regional adviser with UNODC, who said he could not stay on in his post after 31 December. He alluded to irregularities over the awarding of contracts, petty corruption and abuses of administrative discretion, according to UNODC.

Mr. Costa asked the UN's independent Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to begin a probe, and it has already started work on its inquiry.

Mr. Costa said he was confident that major evidence of any misbehaviour was unlikely to be found.

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