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Wed Oct 31, 2012, 06:58 AM

Iraqi audit indicates money laundering, US says


Iraqi audit indicates money laundering, US says
By Adam Schreck | Associated Press
October 31, 2012

BAGHDAD — ]b\Iraqi auditors believe as much as $800 million in US dollars is being sent out of the country illegally each week, draining it of hard currency, according to a report by American inspectors released Tuesday.

The findings point to widespread money laundering and could focus further attention on oversight at Iraq’s central bank, which is at the heart of an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing involving its former governor and other top officials.

The US special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction said in a report that auditors in Baghdad fear up to 80 percent of an estimated $1 billion leaving the country weekly lacks proper documentation.

The American watchdog said Iraq’s top auditor, Abdul-Basit Turki, disclosed the findings about the extent of the alleged money laundering to American officials last month.

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