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InvisibleAlex213
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What has happened to Iraq's missing 1 billion?
    #4680331 - 09/19/05 02:10 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons.

The money, intended to train and equip an Iraqi army capable of bringing security to a country shattered by the US-led invasion and prolonged rebellion, was instead siphoned abroad in cash and has disappeared.

"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister, told The Independent.

"Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal."

The carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support, Iraqi officials say, making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq, as Washington says it wishes to do.

Most of the money was supposedly spent buying arms from Poland and Pakistan. The contracts were peculiar in four ways. According to Mr Allawi, they were awarded without bidding, and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly with the foreign supplier. The money was paid up front, and, surprisingly for Iraq, it was paid at great speed out of the ministry's account with the Central Bank. Military equipment purchased in Poland included 28-year-old Soviet-made helicopters. The manufacturers said they should have been scrapped after 25 years of service. Armoured cars purchased by Iraq turned out to be so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armour. A shipment of the latest MP5 American machine-guns, at a cost of $3,500 (?1,900) each, consisted in reality of Egyptian copies worth only $200 a gun. Other armoured cars leaked so much oil that they had to be abandoned. A deal was struck to buy 7.62mm machine-gun bullets for 16 cents each, although they should have cost between 4 and 6 cents.

The Iraqi Board of Supreme Audit says in a report to the Iraqi government that US-appointed Iraqi officials in the defence ministry allegedly presided over these dubious transactions.

Senior Iraqi officials now say they cannot understand how, if this is so, the disappearance of almost all the military procurement budget could have passed unnoticed by the US military in Baghdad and civilian advisers working in the defence ministry.

Mr Allawi says a further $500m to $600m has allegedly disappeared from the electricity, transport, interior and other ministries. This helps to explain why the supply of electricity in Baghdad has been so poor since the fall of Saddam Hussein 29 months ago despite claims by the US and subsequent Iraqi governments that they are doing everything to improve power generation.

The sum missing over an eight-month period in 2004 and 2005 is the equivalent of the $1.8bn that Saddam allegedly received in kick- backs under the UN's oil-for-food programme between 1997 and 2003. The UN was pilloried for not stopping this corruption. The US military is likely to be criticised over the latest scandal because it was far better placed than the UN to monitor corruption.

The fraud took place between 28 June 2004 and 28 February this year under the government of Iyad Allawi, who was interim prime minister. His ministers were appointed by the US envoy Robert Blackwell and his UN counterpart, Lakhdar Brahimi.

Among those whom the US promoted was a man who was previously a small businessman in London before the war, called Hazem Shaalan, who became Defence Minister.

Mr Shalaan says that Paul Bremer, then US viceroy in Iraq, signed off the appointment of Ziyad Cattan as the defence ministry's procurement chief. Mr Cattan, of joint Polish-Iraqi nationality, spent 27 years in Europe, returning to Iraq two days before the war in 2003. He was hired by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority and became a district councillor before moving to the defence ministry.

For eight months the ministry spent money without restraint. Contracts worth more than $5m should have been reviewed by a cabinet committee, but Mr Shalaan asked for and received from the cabinet an exemption for the defence ministry. Missions abroad to acquire arms were generally led by Mr Cattan. Contracts for large sums were short scribbles on a single piece of paper. Auditors have had difficulty working out with whom Iraq has a contract in Pakistan.

Authorities in Baghdad have issued an arrest warrant for Mr Cattan. Neither he nor Mr Shalaan, both believed to be in Jordan, could be reached for further comment. Mr Bremer says he has never heard of Mr Cattan.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article313538.ece


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InvisibleLazyGnome
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Re: What has happened to Iraq's missing 1 billion? [Re: Alex213]
    #4680379 - 09/19/05 02:17 AM (11 years, 2 months ago)

ok I admit it I took the 1 bil


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Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

"Everything that we know and understand comes down to perception, and by altering this perception we shake everything we know. All that you and I can know and understand is what we can see smell hear think touch and so on, and when something like mushrooms or salvia alters this steady perception, it can break reality permanently." - Dihnekis


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: What has happened to Iraq's missing 1 billion? [Re: Alex213]
    #4681963 - 09/19/05 03:01 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Probably went to the insurgents....


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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Re: What has happened to Iraq's missing 1 billion? [Re: lonestar2004]
    #4681967 - 09/19/05 03:02 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Iraq reports $1 bn defence theft

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Monday, September 19, 2005 at 1133 hours IST


London, September 19: A billion dollars, earmarked for training the newly installed Iraqi Army, was allegedly siphoned abroad in cash in exchange for military purchases from Poland and Pakistan, debilitating the government's fight against insurgency, a media report claimed today.



"It is possibly one of the largest thefts in history," it quoted Ali Allawi, Iraq's Finance Minister as saying.

"Huge amounts of money have disappeared. In return we got nothing but scraps of metal," he told The Independent newspaper.

The money, crucial for providing the necessary military assistance to the country ravaged by years of war and insurgency, was supposedly spent in buying arms from Poland and Pakistan, the daily said.

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But rather than purchasing state-of-the-art weaponary Iraq had procured "museum piece weapons," the paper alleged.

It listed a series of problems with the arms purchased including armoured cars, which "turned out to be so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armour." Other armoured cars reportedly leaked so much oil that they had to be abandoned.

Many Iraqi soldiers and police have died because they were not properly equipped, the daily said.

The contracts to dealers in these countries, Allawi said, were awarded without bidding, and were signed with a Baghdad-based company, and not directly with the foreign supplier.

Baghdad officials alleged that the Iraqis involved in the dealings were only front men, and "rogue elements" within the US military or intelligence services may have played a decisive role behind the scenes.

The fraud took place between June 28, 2004 and February 28 this year under the government of Iyad Allawi, who was interim Prime Minister, the paper said.

The report of the board of supreme audit on the Defence Ministry contracts was presented to the office of Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the Prime Minister, in May.

The sum missing was first reported as USD 300 mn and then USD 500mn, but in fact it is at least twice as large. "If you compare the amount that was allegedly stolen of about USD one billion compared with the budget of the Ministry of Defence, it is nearly 100 per cent of the ministry's (procurement) budget that has gone awol (absent without leave)," said Allawi.

He said a further USD 500mn to USD 600mn has allegedly disappeared from the electricity, transport, interior and other ministries.

"This helps to explain what the supply of electricity in Baghdad has been so poor since the fall of Saddam Hussein 29 months ago despite claims by the US and subsequent Iraqi governments that they are doing everything to improve power generation."


http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=54927


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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OfflineDrink_Punk_Soda
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Re: What has happened to Iraq's missing 1 billion? [Re: LazyGnome]
    #4681981 - 09/19/05 03:05 PM (11 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

LazyGnome said:
ok I admit it I took the 1 bil




I was going to say the same thing after I saw the thread title.


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Kumbayah my lord, Kumbayah...


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