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Politics/Current Affairs

Billions Of Dollars In Cash Missing In Iraq

Friday, February 9th, 2007 at 12:11 by Simon Kimber

We’ve all mislaid a few quid from time to time.  Sometimes you just can’t find that fiver anywhere.  You know you had it, you’re sure you haven’t already spent it, but it’s gone. Well, the United States of America know exactly how you feel, having lost a few notes themselves.

You know how it is. You air-lift huge pallets of shrink-wrapped cash into a war-zone to kickstart the economy of a country you’ve invaded, distribute it off the back of pick-up trucks and some of it invariably goes missing.  Almost exactly the same thing happened with my change pot the other week and now I have to live with the fact that I might be inadvertently helping insurgents to use Pay-And-Display car parks.

The exact amount of cash the US sent over seems to vary depending on who you talk to, but estimates range as high as $12 Billion flown in, in shipments of up to $2.4 Billion at a time, during the year following the Iraqi invasion.  That equates to over 360 tons of cash; quite a bit more than I had in my change pot.

According to a report, prepared for Tuesday’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Iraqi reconstruction, auditors have found evidence of the money being distributed with little or no control. Some prime examples uncovered by the report include:

  • A contractor paid with a duffel bag stuffed with approximately $2 million.
  • $774,300 cash stolen from one division’s vault.
  • Cash stored in sacks in unguarded Iraqi ministry offices
  • Several thousand “ghost employees” receiving payments from Iraqi ministries
  • A “single disbursement of $500 million” labelled simply as “to be determined”.
  • An official given $6.75m cash and told to spend it all before the interim Iraqi government took over the following week.

So remember, if you are going to drop pallets of cash into Iraq at any point, it is vitally important you get a receipt.

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One Comment on “Billions Of Dollars In Cash Missing In Iraq”

  1. Eliza E. Lanyard Says:

    Perhaps they put it in a safe place and just need to retrace their steps til they remember where that was ;-)

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