The Oxfam aid chief at the centre of the Haiti sex scandal was forced out of another UK charity for allegedly using prostitutes in Liberia.

Roland van Hauwermeiren left his job at the medical charity Merlin in 2004 after a colleague claimed he hosted sex parties.

Despite this, he was recruited by Oxfam to lead a team in Chad, where he was accused of cavorting with prostitutes in 2006. Bosses again turned a blind eye and Van Hauwermeiren took charge of Oxfam's response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

According to an investigation the following year, he admitted inviting prostitutes to his £1500-a-month ($2900) hilltop villa – the Eagle's Nest – rented for him by Oxfam.

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Roland van Hauwermeiren allegedly left another charity in 2004 after hosting sex parties in Liberia. He then led an Oxfam trip to Chad where he used prostitutes before going to Haiti.
Roland van Hauwermeiren allegedly left another charity in 2004 after hosting sex parties in Liberia. He then led an Oxfam trip to Chad where he used prostitutes before going to Haiti.

Sources told the Daily Mail yesterday that prostitutes were delivered by pimps. His favourite was said to be a teenager known as Mika, whom he requested regularly.

Neighbours said he "loved young girls" and that they saw a parade of beautiful teenagers going into his home, in one of the wealthiest areas of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

"He would bring them here once or twice a week," said security guard Moliere Moise.

"They were maybe 18, 19 years old. They would pull up on a motorbike and he would meet them at the bottom of the hill. They would talk and he would take them inside. Other times he picked up a girl down the hill on his way home. There's lots of prostitutes around here."

A cook who used to work at the house said staff were not allowed to stay overnight because he "liked to be left alone to do his thing".

Instead of being dismissed, Van Hauwermeiren was allowed a "phased and dignified exit" and given a month's notice.

The 68-year-old Belgian then became head of mission for Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh between 2012 and 2014. The French charity claimed Oxfam did not give them the reason behind his resignation.

Concerns over his behaviour were first raised in 2004 by Amira Malik Miller, a Swedish civil servant.

She made a formal complaint to Merlin, a London-based medical emergency relief charity which has since merged with Save the Children.

An internal investigation found that four male members of the charity's management team had paid for sex in Liberia, where they were helping the population recover from a four-year civil war.

The aid workers had been using Merlin cars to drive sex workers to and from parties at the charity's guest house, investigators found. Van Hauwermeiren denied the accusations, but agreed to resign.

Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is demanding that Oxfam show moral accountability and provide full disclosure about the case. Photo / AP
Britain's International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is demanding that Oxfam show moral accountability and provide full disclosure about the case. Photo / AP

Four years later while working for the Swedish government's aid department, Miller realised he was running Oxfam's mission in Chad.

She alerted Per Byman, then humanitarian director of the Swedish national aid agency. The outcome of the complaint is unclear. That year the agency gave Oxfam £540,000 for its work in Chad.

"Oh my God, it has been 14 years," she told charity website IRIN. "He just goes around the system – from Liberia to Chad to Haiti to Bangladesh. Someone should have checked properly.

"The behaviour at that time in Liberia was insane. I think Merlin were a bit worse, but plenty of UN types were doing the same. Lots of sleazy bars, girls on the beach."

Miller, who worked for Merlin, said she complained to the London office after she found one of her colleagues joking with and fondling a young Liberian woman in the kitchen of their shared house. Immediately, she took him aside and explained she would not going to tolerate sex workers in the house.

From that point, Miller said the atmosphere was "quite intimidating" because the four senior managers "constantly had their eye" on her.

The lead investigator claimed Merlin had lacked sufficient proof to pursue a prosecution and that the report from Miller was the first he had heard of claims of misconduct.

However, a third source, an aid worker familiar with the episode, said the head office had already been aware of the allegations.

Save the Children said it was unable to comment on the case as it did not merge with Merlin until 2013, nine years after the incident. The Charity Commission said it has no records for Merlin in 2004 and could not comment on whether it was alerted to the case.

Geoff Prescott, chief executive of Merlin at the time of the 2004 allegations, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

An Oxfam spokesman said: "Roland van Hauwermeiren started working for Oxfam in Chad in April 2006.

"In the time available and 12 years later, we can't find the files relating to his recruitment but our policy at the time was to get two references including the former employer before hiring new staff.

"This case further illustrates the need for a sector wide approach to track individuals guilty of misconduct and why we announced on Sunday a package of measures to strengthen our vetting and recruitment procedures."