Reporter claims visit to Sudan by fake U.S. senator

Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:20 PM

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Sudan officials were allegedly duped into believing a visiting businessman was a U.S. senator, the Sudan Tribune said.

Faisal Mohamed Salih, who writes for several national newspapers in Sudan, said Sunday officials had been fooled into believing businessman Sonny Lee was a politician. He said Sudan officials then deceived the public by terming his visit as that of an elected federal legislator, the Tribune reported.

The Tribune did not indicate where the column was published.

Sudanese state media said a delegation of potential U.S. investors was led by "senator" Lee, who expressed interest in investing in Sudan's energy industries.

Sudan has been under U.S. economic sanctions since 1997.

The Tribune said Lee is chairman of Great American International Development Corp., a real estate development firm.

Salih slammed Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for failing to do "the bare minimum of its duties" to obtain information about the visitors.

The U.S. embassy in Khartoum said last week it had no information about Lee or his delegation.

Salih's report does not indicate if Lee actually claimed to be a U.S. senator, the Tribune said.

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