Procurement: September 2, 2003

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Documents captured in Iraq indicated that the Saddam Hussein paid hundreds of millions of dollars to violate the UN embargo and illegally purchase American made equipment (computers, scientific instruments, aircraft, electronic and vehicle parts). The Iraqis paid as much as three times the standards price, and often the equipment went through several middlemen before being smuggled into Iraq. Most frequently, the legal end user was in Jordan or Syria, where smuggling and running embargos is an ancient practice. Iraq maintained back accounts in Lebanon (a Middle East banking center, and controlled by Syria) containing $400 million and another $150 million in Jordanian banks. The captured correspondence indicated that many European and South Korean companies eagerly sought to make the illegal sales, while most American suppliers were unaware that the final destination of equipment was Iraq. No names of companies, that violated the embargo, have yet been released

 


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