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Thu 16 Jun 2011 11:28 AM

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US says $7bn of Iraqi cash may have been stolen

Billions of dollars of funds earmarked for rebuilding war-torn country missing in what may be record theft

US says $7bn of Iraqi cash may have been stolen
Stuart Bowen, the US special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction
US says $7bn of Iraqi cash may have been stolen
US soldiers in Iraq
US says $7bn of Iraqi cash may have been stolen
US President Obama with troops in Iraq
US says $7bn of Iraqi cash may have been stolen
US soldiers in Iraq

Almost $7bn of Iraqi oil funds earmarked for the war-torn country’s reconstruction may have been stolen, according to a US official investigation fraud in country.

The missing cash may be “the largest theft of funds in national history”, Stuart Bowen, the US special inspector-general for Iraq reconstruction, told the Los Angeles Times.

The cash, generated from Iraqi oil revenues and assets seized during the 2003 US-led invasion, was part of a development fund set up by the Federal Bank of New York in the absence of an Iraqi banking system.

Some $6.6bn of funds were airlifted aboard C-130 military cargo planes by the Bush administration in 2003-2004 in shrink-wrapped bricks, as part of a $20bn reconstruction package.

According to the Financial Times, the money was stored at US military bases and in the basement of one of Saddam’s former palaces, and used to fund the interim government.

But almost half of the total funds - $6.6bn – disappeared.

Bowen said poor regulation of the system was to blame for the missing money.

"The system was too loose and unregulated in 2003 and 2004," he said.

 The investigation and the Pentagon had previously thought the discrepancy was the result of sloppy accounting, but now allow the money may have been stolen.

The Los Angeles Times reported that some officials in Baghdad have threatened to take the US government to court to reclaim the missing cash, which primarily came from Iraqi oil sales.

Mr Bowen did not speculate on who he believed may have made off with the loot.

"But this money was delivered to Iraqi control, and we have in the past had a number of cases reported to us about interim ministers who did steal," he said.

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Marcellus Ramone Kelley 8 years ago

Your culprits are in this story!

Basel A-Shaban 8 years ago

Bowen knows where he needs to go get custody receipts of each and every penny that was sent from the FRBNY and/or withdrawn from the DFI account. Not all Iraqi ministries (during Bowen audit) delivered to Bowen their financials on time even though CPA was pushing for the information to be delivered to Bowen. Unfortunately, when Bowen published his report it was missing the financials of two major Iraqi ministries (Defense and Interior).

To make a long story short, all funds delivered from the US side to the Iraqi side is accounted for. However, once it was given to the Iraqi side, the US had a limited knowledge to how the Iraqi gov spent their own money. We know the facts and we have the supported evidence, we need to stop playing politics. One of the US major newspapers published an article two days ago stating that Bowen backed down from his previous statements at a later interview stating that he never stated that funds were stolen, he added that he can never make that assessment

zxc 8 years ago

IS THIS SURPRISING?
THE AMERICANS WENT THERE TO LOOT. THERE WERE NO WMD'S.

Georges 8 years ago

They should also investigate the disappearance of almost $5 bn that was airlifted to us base and disappeared there.

Rip Meoff 8 years ago

Granma told me, never trust a man in a suit...Granma was right!

Ben Dover 8 years ago

"The cash, generated from Iraqi oil revenues and assets seized during the 2003 US-led invasion, was part of a development fund set up by the Federal Bank of New York in the absence of an Iraqi banking system"

American Banks are really good at losing other peoples money, is it Bankers or Banksters?

So let me guess, you'll take no responsibility and blame someone else for your FAILURES.

Osamo 8 years ago

Whao! This is mind buggling! Treasure of war;despair of the poor!

Tedie 8 years ago

It is the responsibility of the last in charge of it. Bottom line, go after that guy. Haliburton made a lot of money and Im sure the apple didnt fall too far from the tree. But money talks and also shuts alot of people up. People beware what sheep you invite in to "save" you , might just be the wolf! I think alot of American money disappeared too to a different kind of terrorist?

KF 8 years ago

All the comments so far prove one thing - That all Politicians, wherever or whoever, are not to be trusted. If the System will not Question them, the Public should - As they did in Tunisa, Egypt, Libyia etc, and about time the people woke up in USA & UK.

jonathan Greedy 8 years ago

find out who got it even if it costs 13 billion. the americans owe it to the world