US accused of stealing billions of Iraqi oil revenues
Some four billion dollars set aside for the reconstruction of Iraq have disappeared into American bank accounts administered by the occupying Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).
The missing billions, uncovered by UK humanitarian group Christian Aid, are a combination of oil revenues now controlled by the CPA, plus seized Iraqi government assets and funds vested overseas.
“The fact that no independent body knows where this cash has gone is in direct violation of the UN resolution that released much of it for the rebuilding of Iraq's shattered infrastructure,” said Christian Aid in a news release.
It is estimated that by the end of the year, the amount of unaccounted cash will double if CPA financial management is not made more transparent.
“This is Iraqi money. The people of Iraq must know where it is going and it should be used for the benefit of all the country's people - particularly the poorest,” said Christian Aid's international director, Roger Riddell.
According to the CPA, the body does promote economic transparency by maintaining a Program Review Board to examine requests to spend Iraqi funds and make recommendations on expenditures. The authority asserts that minutes from meetings, as well as the Iraqi national budgets for the second half of 2003 and all of 2004 are posted on their website. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)