The US is investigating allegations of inappropriate conduct among FBI personnel stationed across East and Southeast Asia, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday evening and has already recalled several people.
The alleged misconduct relates to partying and interactions with prostitutes, people familiar with the matter said. Soliciting prostitutes, a behavior that is “legal or tolerated” in some countries, as the WSJ put it, is particularly worrisome for Federal Bureau of Investigation officials who fear that foreign intelligence services could use the actions to compromise agents.
“Upon learning of these allegations of misconduct, action was taken to reassign certain personnel to non-operational roles while the allegations are reviewed,” the agency said in a statement.
The people recalled were stationed in around a half a dozen cities throughout the region, but the sources were not able to reveal any further details about the specific allegations.
The investigation echoes previous scandals involving US officials and prostitutes abroad. Drug Enforcement Agency officials and Secret Service agents have been disciplined in recent years for interaction with prostitutes in Colombia.