19:56 GMT +325 September 2018
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    A man carries a box with donated food from the 101st Airborne Division  in the village of Khoshab, Afghanistan (File)

    US Sergeant Jailed for Taking Bribes From Afghan Aid Contractors

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    US Army Sergeant Ramiro Pena, who was sentenced to 24 months in prison for taking bribes, used the bribe money to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle, which he now has to forfeit along with the Rolex and cash, according to the US Department of Justice.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States sentenced Army Sergeant Ramiro Pena to 24 months in prison for taking bribes from humanitarian aid vendors in Afghanistan in exchange for supply contracts, the US Department of Justice said in a press release on Thursday.

    "Pena admitted that he and his supervisor… were responsible for contracting with local vendors to purchase supplies to support humanitarian relief in Afghanistan," the release stated. "Pena admitted that he received from the vendors… a Rolex watch and $100,000 in total bribe payments."

    Pena and his supervisor, the release added, awarded 217 such contracts worth approximately $30,760,255 from January 2008 through September 2009.

    The US Sergeant, according to the release, sent roughly $22,000 to his family in Kentucky, spread among numerous greeting cards "to avoid drawing attention to the thickness of any particular envelope."

    He also used the bribe money to purchase a Harley Davidson motorcycle, which he now has to forfeit along with the Rolex and cash, the release added.

    The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has previously reported that billions of US taxpayer dollars have been wasted in Afghanistan because of contractor bribery schemes, fraud and gross overbilling.

    In the first half of 2015 alone, at least five US military personnel have been indicted on bribery and theft charges in Afghanistan, according to the SIGAR.

    Related:

    Judge Tried to Bribe FBI Agent With Beer to Get Family’s Texts
    US Army Official Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison for $30,000 Bribe
    Former US Army Contract Official Gets 3.5 Years in Prison for Bribery
    Tags:
    bribery, US Department of Justice, Ramiro Pena, United States
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