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Iraq forms special committee to chase lost oil funds
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Oct 6, 2011

Iraq formed a special committee on Thursday to chase down $17 billion in missing oil money that was apparently lost in 2004, when the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority was governing the country.

The committee includes representatives from the finance ministry, the central bank and the board of supreme audit and will issue monthly reports on progress towards recovering the missing funds.

"Deputy Prime Minister Roz Nuri Shaways headed a meeting of the special ministerial committee to guarantee protection of Iraqi funds," a statement from Shaways's office said.

The group agreed to form "a special committee ... to follow the issue of the disappeared Iraqi funds, and give monthly reports to the committee."

In June, US officials acknowledged that $6.6 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds had disappeared. Iraq, however, claims $17 billion is missing, with the issue having been under investigation for several years.

The cash was from the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales after the 2003 US-led invasion. It was placed in the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), but went missing in 2004, when US envoy Paul Bremer's CPA was governing Iraq and managing the fund.

It was a 2003 UN Security Council resolution that authorised the transfer of the vanished Iraqi oil money from the US to Iraq.

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