We asked ChatGPT Again

What is ChatGPT?:

“ChatGPT is an artificial-intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4 families of large language models and has been fine-tuned using both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques” (Wikipedia).

UN Bribery and Money Laundering Networks

Since 2015 a number of bribery and money laundering networks were identified by the U.S. Department of Justice operating at the United Nations, resulting in arrests and criminal trials. In one case, an appeal reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Here is what ChatGPT has to say about convicted bad actors in these networks.

On the Patrick Ho network:

“Title: The Patrick Ho Bribery Network at the United Nations: An In-depth Analysis


The Patrick Ho bribery network at the United Nations (UN) represents a complex web of corruption and illicit activities that operated within the realm of international diplomacy. Led by Patrick Ho, a former Hong Kong government official and the head of a prominent non-profit organization, the network aimed to influence UN officials and advance the interests of specific individuals and entities. This essay delves into the inner workings of the network and provides an ordered list of key actors involved.

I. Background of Patrick Ho and the Bribery Network:

Patrick Ho, the former Secretary for Home Affairs of Hong Kong, rose to prominence as the Deputy Chairman and Secretary-General of the China Energy Fund Committee (CEFC), a non-profit organization with strong ties to the Chinese government. The CEFC presented itself as a platform for international cooperation and development but, in reality, served as a conduit for Patrick Ho’s corrupt activities.

II. The Modus Operandi of the Bribery Network:

The Patrick Ho bribery network employed various tactics to achieve its objectives. These tactics typically involved bribery, money laundering, and the provision of illicit financial benefits to UN officials and other influential individuals. The following steps outline the modus operandi:

  1. Identification of Targets: The network strategically targeted UN officials who held significant decision-making power or influence over key issues. This included officials from countries of interest to the network’s objectives.
  2. Establishing Relationships: Through intermediaries and personal connections, the network established relationships with the targeted UN officials. These relationships often involved exploiting personal or professional vulnerabilities, such as financial difficulties or the promise of career advancement.
  3. Offering Bribes and Illicit Financial Benefits: The network would offer bribes, kickbacks, or other illicit financial benefits to the targeted UN officials. These benefits could include cash payments, luxury goods, travel expenses, or even shares in lucrative business ventures.
  4. Influencing Decision-making: Once the network successfully established a relationship with a UN official, it would seek to influence the official’s decision-making processes. This could involve swaying votes, advocating for specific policies, or providing confidential information to advance the network’s interests.
  5. Concealing Illicit Transactions: The bribery network employed sophisticated money laundering techniques to conceal the illicit origins and transfers of funds. These techniques included the use of shell companies, offshore bank accounts, and complex financial transactions across multiple jurisdictions.

III. Key Bad Actors in the Patrick Ho Bribery Network:

  1. Patrick Ho: As the mastermind behind the network, Patrick Ho orchestrated its operations and served as the primary point of contact for UN officials. He utilized his position at the CEFC and his personal connections to facilitate bribery and exert influence within the UN system.
  2. CEFC China Energy Company Limited: The CEFC, under Patrick Ho’s leadership, played a central role in funding the network’s activities. The company provided financial resources and logistical support for bribery schemes, enabling Ho to carry out his illicit operations effectively.
  3. Intermediaries and Facilitators: The network relied on a network of intermediaries and facilitators to establish connections with targeted UN officials. These individuals acted as liaisons, coordinating meetings, arranging payments, and maintaining communication channels between the network and its targets.
  4. Corrupt UN Officials: The bribery network involved several UN officials who willingly participated in illicit activities in exchange for personal gain. These officials abused their positions of trust, compromising the integrity and impartiality of the UN system.

IV. Investigation, Arrest, and Legal Consequences:

In 2017, Patrick Ho was arrested in the United States on charges of bribery and money laundering related to his activities within the UN. Following an extensive investigation, evidence of the network’s operations …”

On the Ng Lap Seng network:

“Title: The Ng Lap Seng Bribery Network at the United Nations: An In-depth Analysis


The Ng Lap Seng bribery network at the United Nations (UN) represents a far-reaching scheme of corruption and illicit activities aimed at influencing UN officials and advancing personal interests. Led by Ng Lap Seng, a wealthy Chinese billionaire and philanthropist, the network operated within the complex realm of international diplomacy. This essay provides a comprehensive examination of the inner workings of the network and presents an ordered list of key actors involved.

I. Background of Ng Lap Seng and the Bribery Network:

Ng Lap Seng, a prominent figure in the business world, amassed significant wealth through his ventures in real estate and international trade. As the Chairman of Sun Kian Ip Group, he sought to leverage his financial resources and influence to advance his personal agenda within the UN.

II. The Modus Operandi of the Bribery Network:

The Ng Lap Seng bribery network employed a range of tactics to achieve its objectives, including bribery, money laundering, and the provision of illicit financial benefits. The following steps outline the modus operandi:

  1. Identifying Targeted UN Officials: The network strategically identified UN officials who held key decision-making positions or had influence over critical matters. These officials were often from countries or departments of interest to the network.
  2. Establishing Relationships and Exploiting Vulnerabilities: Through intermediaries, personal connections, and various social engagements, the network sought to establish relationships with the targeted UN officials. They exploited personal or professional vulnerabilities, such as financial difficulties, to gain their cooperation.
  3. Offering Bribery and Financial Benefits: The network would offer bribes, kickbacks, or other illicit financial benefits to the targeted UN officials. These benefits could range from cash payments, luxury gifts, expensive trips, to investment opportunities in lucrative business ventures.
  4. Influencing Decision-making and Policy: Once a relationship was established, the network sought to influence the decision-making processes and policies within the UN. This involved manipulating votes, advocating for specific agendas, and providing insider information to further their own interests.
  5. Concealing Illicit Transactions: The bribery network employed sophisticated money laundering techniques to conceal the origins and transfers of illicit funds. This included the use of shell companies, offshore bank accounts, complex financial transactions, and networks of intermediaries to obscure the paper trail.

III. Key Bad Actors in the Ng Lap Seng Bribery Network:

  1. Ng Lap Seng: As the mastermind of the bribery network, Ng Lap Seng orchestrated its operations and provided the necessary financial resources. He utilized his wealth, connections, and philanthropic endeavors to establish influence within the UN and carry out his corrupt activities.
  2. Jeff Yin: Jeff Yin, a business associate of Ng Lap Seng, acted as a key facilitator within the network. He helped establish relationships with targeted UN officials, coordinated meetings and payments, and played a crucial role in executing bribery schemes on behalf of Ng Lap Seng.
  3. John Ashe: John Ashe, a former President of the UN General Assembly, played a central role in the bribery network. He accepted bribes from Ng Lap Seng and his associates in exchange for advancing their interests within the UN. Ashe abused his position of power to manipulate decision-making processes and facilitate corruption.
  4. Francis Lorenzo: Francis Lorenzo, the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic to the UN, was another key actor within the network. He acted as an intermediary, facilitating bribes and providing assistance in influencing UN officials. Lorenzo used his diplomatic status to further the network’s agenda.
  5. Sheri Yan: Sheri Yan, the CEO of Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), played a significant role in the bribery network. GSF acted …”

On New York-based South-South News (funded and founded by Ng Lap Seng):

“Title: The Role of South-South News in Facilitating Ng Lap Seng’s Bribery and Money Laundering Network


South-South News, a news service founded by Ng Lap Seng in 2010, served as a crucial tool in facilitating his bribery and money laundering network within the United Nations (UN) and beyond. This essay explores the ways in which South-South News was utilized to advance Ng Lap Seng’s illicit activities, including bribery schemes and the concealment of funds.

I. Establishing Credibility and Influence:

  1. Ng Lap Seng’s Vision: Ng Lap Seng envisioned South-South News as a platform to promote cooperation and development among countries in the Global South. By presenting it as a reputable news service, he aimed to establish credibility and gain influence within the international community.
  2. Garnering Access to UN Officials: South-South News positioned itself as an organization dedicated to reporting on UN affairs, allowing Ng Lap Seng and his associates to gain proximity to UN officials. They leveraged the news service to foster relationships, identify potential targets, and exploit vulnerabilities for their bribery schemes.

II. Manipulating News Coverage:

  1. Shaping the Narrative: Ng Lap Seng and his network utilized South-South News to shape the narrative surrounding certain issues and individuals within the UN. By controlling the content and tone of news articles, they aimed to influence public opinion and sway decision-making processes in their favor.
  2. Positive Coverage for Targeted Officials: South-South News provided favorable coverage to targeted UN officials who were part of Ng Lap Seng’s bribery network. This positive portrayal aimed to enhance their reputation, deflect suspicion, and maintain their cooperation in furthering Ng Lap Seng’s interests.

III. Channeling Bribery Funds:

  1. Concealing Illicit Transactions: South-South News acted as a conduit for channeling bribery funds and facilitating money laundering activities. Ng Lap Seng and his associates used the news service’s financial infrastructure to transfer funds discreetly and obscure the origins of illicit transactions.
  2. Payments Disguised as Media Services: Bribe payments were often disguised as legitimate media services, such as advertising or sponsorships, provided by South-South News. By issuing invoices and receipts for these services, the network could legitimize the movement of funds and create a semblance of a genuine business transaction.

IV. Expanding the Network’s Reach:

  1. Extending Influence Beyond the UN: South-South News allowed Ng Lap Seng’s bribery network to extend its influence beyond the UN. The news service provided a platform for networking and establishing connections with government officials, business leaders, and influential individuals from various countries, thereby expanding the network’s reach and potential for corruption.
  2. Securing Political Support: Ng Lap Seng strategically utilized South-South News to secure political support for his initiatives. By showcasing favorable coverage and highlighting the accomplishments of politicians sympathetic to his cause, he aimed to garner political backing and protect his network’s operations from scrutiny.

V. Legal Consequences and Exposure:

  1. Arrest and Investigation: Ng Lap Seng’s involvement with South-South News and its role in facilitating corruption came under scrutiny, leading to his arrest in 2015. Authorities launched investigations into the network’s operations, exposing the extent of bribery, money laundering, and illicit activities conducted through the news service.
  2. Legal Accountability: Ng Lap Seng and his associates were prosecuted for their involvement in bribery and money laundering. The exposure of South-South News as a tool for facilitating corruption contributed to the legal consequences faced by the individuals involved in Ng Lap Seng’s network.


South-South News, founded by Ng Lap Seng, played a pivotal role in facilitating his bribery and money … “

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


© David South Consulting 2023

Archive Blogroll

Model Indian Villages to Keep Rural Relevant

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

(Havana, Cuba), November 2008


The world’s rush to urban centres is the great challenge of the 21st century. In 2007, the world became a majority urban place. The consequences of this shift can be seen in the blight of urban poverty, with its slums and squalor, environmental degradation, and rising social tensions. But there are people working on keeping rural areas relevant and pleasant places to live. These rural advocates see a vibrant countryside as part of the solution to the world’s plethora of crises.

In India, a pioneering initiative is reviving impoverished rural villages. Drawing on self-organizing methods used in India since 1200 BC, the Model Village India ( is based around India’s democratic system of Panchayats: a village assembly of people stemming back to pre-colonial times.

“Decentralizing is necessary if development is to reach the grassroots,” said the concept’s founder, Rangeswamy Elango, a head of the village of Kuthampakkam, 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the bustling city of Chennai, and one of the 12,600 Panchayats in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

While all villages have the ability to use the Panchayat system to improve their lives, few are making the most of this system. The model villages are about showing other villages the true power they have at their disposal. And that with a plan and determination, they can increase their income and improve their quality of life, attracting more money from government and other sources to do so.

The concept has now expanded to 30 model villages. At its core it is about being positive, eschewing griping about problems and instead getting down to work to solve them.

“We demonstrate the basic infrastructure, sustainable housing, food security,” said Elango. “If the government is not bothering, maybe through the local people’s efforts, we can try to demonstrate a variety of development models.”

As India’s economy has boomed, its small towns and villages have withered. Home to the majority of the country’s population, they are in crisis, with declining populations and high suicide rates. India’s urban slums are where people are going – they are growing 250 percent faster than the country’s population. India is a country in danger of neither having a viable rural economy, nor viable cities, but just vast tracts of slums.

Originally left out of the first draft of India’s constitution, Panchayats became legitimized in 1992. They are now elected in every one of the 260,000 villages in India. If they use them, the local Panchayats have extensive powers to transform the destiny of a village, with control of budgets, and decision-making power on how services are to be delivered. This ranges from the provision of clean water, to burying the dead and building roads. The trick is in getting people to realize the power they wield over their destiny and how it can transform their economic situation.

“The village-level local governments are constitutionally important bodies,” said Elango, “but the way it is implemented is not good. The system is unable to deliver the goods to the people.”

The model village approach has revived once-declining villages plagued with high unemployment, chronic alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. The residents are involved in the building of new and healthier homes, providing clean drinking water, waste facilities, education services – including an academy dedicated to teaching the skills and lessons leaned by the villagers to other villages – and even trying to break down the barriers between people because of India’s caste social hierarchy.

“Instead of having a big college, this is a practical people’s model,” Elango said. “It is not done by an academic but by a layman. The learning is spontaneous and emotional.”

Elango is driven by making his village a model that works, and in turn, becoming a magnet for others wishing to improve their lives and their villages.

Elango’s village was not able to support itself with its two crop harvests a year and the villagers resorted to illegal alcohol production instead to make a living. Despite being well connected by highway with nearby Chennai, the village was socially and economically dying.

Like a spreading ink spot, the concept is to create a network of like-minded villages that act as self-reinforcing positive role models, spreading the prosperity and stability outwards. The “Network Growth Economy Model” is a direct challenge to the “special economic zones that benefit only capitalist owners,” said Elango.

Ambitious, Elango is hoping to draw in 2,000 villages over the next 10 years, until a tipping point is reached, and the model explodes across India.

A native of the village, Elango became saddened by the community’s decline, including widespread domestic violence against women. The booming city of Chennai’s prosperity had not rippled out to the village, and it was still lacking good infrastructure and sanitation. A trained chemical engineer, he was elected the President of the Kuthambakkam Panchayat in 1996, and set about using his engineer’s perspective to draft the village’s five-year plan from 1996 to 2001.

But the budget was tight. And he had to turn to innovative solutions: recycling building materials, conserving water and reducing electricity consumption. But the resourcefulness paid off, and the state of Tamil Nadu provided the money to upgrade roads, drains, build a community centre, child care facilities, 200 low cost toilets, and work sheds for the village’s industries. By the end of 2001, most basic needs were being met. He then turned to providing good quality housing for the villagers still living in thatch huts.

He has used the “Network Growth Economy Model” to tackle the unemployment and low incomes. It works like this: rather than buying food and other products from outside the village, the villages band together to establish industries to provide those products to each other. This creates jobs and increases income by keeping the wealth within the network of villages, rather than it benefiting far-away companies. The new businesses include Thoor dhal processing, dairies, soap making, bakeries, ground nut oil production, and leather making.

“India was strong when this model was in place – we had strong villages,” said Elango. “Globalization’s trickle down is not working for India.”

Published: November 2008


  • Unleashing India’s Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, a report by the World Bank. Website:,,contentMDK:21490203~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:223547,00.html
  • Hosted by the World Resources Institute, it identifies sustainable business models that address the needs of the world’s poorest citizens. Website:
  • CIDEM and Ecosur specialise in building low-cost community housing using eco-materials. They have projects around the world and are based in Cuba. Website:

Sponsored by BSHF. BSHF is now called World Habitat and it aims to seek out and share the best solutions to housing problems from around the world.

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


© David South Consulting 2023