Forty billion `missing` from Iraq accounts

Around USD 40 bn are missing from a post-Gulf War fund maintained by Iraq.

Updated: Feb 21, 2011, 21:52 PM IST

Baghdad: Around USD 40 billion are
"missing" from a post-Gulf War fund that Iraq maintains to
protect the money from foreign claims, its parliamentary
speaker said on Monday.

"There is missing money, we do not know where it has
gone," Osama al-Nujaifi said at a news conference in Baghdad.
"The money is around USD 40 billion in total."

"It may have been spent somewhere, but it does not
appear in our accounts, so parliament will investigate where
this money has gone."

Nujaifi did not say when or how the discovery had been
made regarding the missing money. He said two investigative
committees had been formed to track down the cash.

The Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which was set up
after the 2003 war to handle oil and other revenues, has been
protected against claims by a UN resolution that expires on
June 30.

On December 15, the UN Security Council ended key
international sanctions imposed on Iraq following now-executed
dictator Saddam Hussein`s 1990 invasion of Kuwait in a major
move toward bringing closure on the Saddam era.

Among the decisions taken on that day was the closure
of the DFI.

Iraq`s August 2, 1990 assault on Kuwait was rapidly
met with a concerted international military response that
pushed Saddam`s forces out of the oil-rich emirate and
eventually ended in his ouster by a US-led coalition in 2003.