Analysis: New Evidence Of Corruption In Iraq Oil Voucher Scheme

List of 270 oil voucher recipients includes officials in Russia, France and China, among others, with most of the oil being resold to the United States...

Published: 12-Oct-2004

Two separate reports have recently surfaced describing in greater detail allegations of corruption in the United Nations-administered oil-for-food (OFF) program in Iraq and the so-called "oil voucher" scheme by which various individuals and companies were given gifts of oil by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in return for political support. The main beneficiaries of this scheme, according to these reports, are alleged to have been Russian, French, and Chinese companies and individuals.

The first report was prepared at the behest of the Iraqi interim administration by the auditing firm KPMG and the British law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Labeled "highly confidential," the report was leaked to London's "Sunday Times" on 3 October.

Three days later, on 6 October, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) released a three-volume report by Charles A. Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group. After a detailed investigation, the report concluded that Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction at the time of the U.S.-led invasion last year, but it also contained a lengthy description of irregularities in the OFF program and the oil-voucher schemes.

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