Baghdad: Iraq`s top customs official today
said 90 per cent of a multi-million dollar batch of
US-purchased computers destined for schoolchildren but
allegedly sold off on the cheap had been recovered.
The American military said on Friday that an unnamed
senior official at Umm Qasr port had misappropriated the
1.9-million-dollar gift and auctioned the computers for only
But customs chief Nofal Salim denied the claim, saying
the sale was in accordance with a legal disposal procedure for
all goods not claimed by the addressee 90 days after their
arrival in Iraq.
"On May 19 we received a list from the port of Umm Qasr
of containers arriving more than 90 days earlier and which had
not been claimed," Salim said.
"No container belonging to the American military appeared
on the list.
"However, there were two belonging to a company named
Global, although there was no indication that they were
destined for the education authorities in Babil province."
Global did not submit a claim for the containers until
August 22, six months after their arrival, Salim said.
"The customs service in the south cancelled the sale and
has recovered more than 90 per cent of the cargo, which will
be sent to the Umm Qasr port where the company can get them