UK banker overseeing oil-for-food probe demands more US assistance

Kathleen Ridolfo
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Iraq Report Vol. 7, No. 16
May 7, 2004
A U.K. banker heading the inquiry into allegations of corruption within the UN-administered oil-for-food program has reportedly claimed that politically motivated delays are obstructing the investigation of some $14 billion squandered by the deposed Hussein regime in Iraq, London’s The Times reported on May 1.

Claude Hankes-Drielsma says that the accounting firm Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) has traced hundreds of millions of dollars to bank accounts in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, calling it “one of the most sophisticated money-laundering operations they’ve ever seen.” The investigation has been held up, however, by Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) head L. Paul Bremer, who questioned KPMG’s appointment to investigate the allegations and then failed to pay for the inquiry, The Times reported.

Hankes-Drielsma said that he raised the issue with the U.S. Congress during a recent visit. Those taking part in the inquiry are reportedly worried that the delay will allow time for those involved in the scandal to destroy evidence.

Categories: Corruption, Odious Debts

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