Report: Iraqi Auditor Says $800M Of US Money Being Laundered Weekly
BAGHDAD (CBSDC/AP) – An Iraqi alleged money-laundering scheme involving the country’s central bank accuses officials of illegally funneling as much as $800 million in undocumented U.S. money out of Iraq each week.
A new report released by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction found that auditors in Baghdad believe that $800 million of an estimated $1 billion that leaves Iraq on a weekly basis lacks proper documentation, according to the Associated Press.
Abdul-Basit Turki, Iraq’s lead auditor, told American officials last month about his findings, describing in the report “what he called a triangle of sectarianism, corruption and violence, in which each element feeds off the others in a dynamic that threatens the well-being of the state.”
The allegations come as Turki’s office continues to carry out a probe into Iraq’s central bank, which has alleged that most of the transactions from customers transferring money abroad have been based on fraudulent paperwork, according o the report. Turki is also the bank’s interim chief.
Turki became the interim chief only after Sinan al-Shabibi, the bank’s longtime governor, and other bank officials were ousted after being targeted as suspects in alleged financial wrongdoing within the bank. The ongoing allegations have raised concerns about political interference in the central bank and just how far the money laundering extends.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)