Terwijl de EU politici de schijn wekken, dat zij zich zorgen maken over het naderende faillissement van Griekenland en volgens verwachtingen nu ook de regering van Ierland te kennen gegven heeft dat ook zij andere leningsvoorwaarden wensen, weest gerust Portugal volgt en in Spanje en Italië is men zich al aan het warmlopen, trof ons gisteren een bericht op het Franse 8 uur journaal. Nieuwslezer Laurent Delahousse wist te vertellen dat de Amerikanen 4 miljoen Euro’s kwijt zijn in Irak. Vreemd verder niets over gehoord en gelezen dus maar even aan de slag.
Attentie : 1 Billion = 1 miljard
Het bleek kennelijk komkommertijd te zijn bij France 2, want na wat zoeken kwamen wij er achter dat het een verhaal was, dat reeds begon in 2005, maar kennelijk de Amerikaanse senaat nog steeds bezig houdt. Vliegtuigen vol met knisperende vers gedrukte 100 dollar biljetten werden met militaire vrachtvliegtuigen naar Baghdad gevlogen om daar de Iraakse economie weer wat leven in te blazen. Gelijktijdig gaf dit natuurlijk ruimschoots de kans om voor iedereen die dat graag wilde wat bij te verdienen. Zo werd bekend, dat een beveiliginsfirma claimde 3000 man op de loonlijst te hebben staan, maar dat het in de praktijk slechts om 500 man ging. Een oude truc overigens, die al een toegepast werd door de Franse ex premier Jacques Chirac, die destijds als burgemeester van Parijs het zelfde grapje uithaalde om zijn verkiezingskas te spekken en met succes, ofschoon hij nog steeds voor de rechter moet komen. Vliegtuigen vol met gewoon op pallets geladen dollarpakjes verlieten iedere dag de VS vanaf de Andrews Airbase, in het totaal 12 miljard en ja, dan raak je gauw de tel kwijt. Lees nog maar even mee wat de Amerikaans media er over te vertellen hadden :
According to a report by the CNN in January 2005, 15 billion in cash did vanished in Iraq to pay for Washington’s past mistakes.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -January 31st 2005: – Nearly USD 9 billion of money spent on Iraqi reconstruction is unaccounted for because of inefficiencies and bad management, according to a watchdog report published Sunday.An inspector general’s report said the U.S.-led administration that ran Iraq until June 2004 is unable to account for the funds.Severe inefficiencies and poor management” by the Coalition Provisional Authority has left auditors with no guarantee the money was properly used,” the report said.
In February 2007, The UK Newspaper The Guardian had this report:
“How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish”
“The US flew nearly $12bn in shrink-wrapped USD 100 bills into Iraq, then distributed the cash with no proper control over who was receiving it and how it was being spent. The staggering scale of the biggest transfer of cash in the history of the Federal Reserve has been graphically laid bare by a US congressional committee”
Maar het kon nog erger, want waar bleven de 3 miljard die in eerste instantie naar Afghanistan gingen en dat land in koffers kistjes en pallets weer verlieten ? Lees mee
OVER $3 billion in cash has been flown out of Kabul in recent years amid fears funds from corruption and narcotics are being stashed overseas.
The sums leaving through Kabul International Airport are so large that US investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted US aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad.The cash – packed into suitcases, piled onto pallets and loaded into airplanes – is declared and legal to move.But US and Afghan officials say they are targeting the flows in major anticorruption and drug trafficking investigations because of their size relative to Afghanistan’s small economy and the murkiness of their origins.
Officials believe some of the cash, if not most, is siphoned from Western aid projects and US, European and NATO contracts to provide security, supplies and reconstruction work for coalition forces in Afghanistan.NATO spent about $US14 billion in Afghanistan last year alone. Profits reaped from the opium trade are also a part of the money flow, as is cash earned by the Taliban from drugs and extortion, officials say.The amount declared as it leaves the airport is vast in a nation where the gross domestic product last year totalled $US13.5 billion.More declared cash flies out of Kabul each year than the Afghan government collects in tax and customs revenue nationwide. “It’s not like they grow money on trees here,” said a US official investigating corruption and Taliban financing.
“A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen. And opium, of course.”
Most of the funds passing through the airport are being moved by often-secretive outfits called “hawalas”, private money transfer businesses with roots in the Muslim world stretching back centuries, officials say.The officials believe hawala customers who have sent millions of dollars of their money abroad include high-ranking officials and their associates in President Hamid Karzai’s administration, including Vice President Mohammed Fahim, and one of the president’s brothers, Mahmood Karzai, an influential businessman.Where they allegedly get the money is one of the questions under investigation.
Vice President Fahim responded through his brother, AH Fahim, a businessman, who denied the allegations. “My brother? He doesn’t know anything about money,” Mr Fahim said. Mahmood Karzai said in an interview he has engaged in only legitimate businesses and has never transferred large sums of cash from the country.
In a January 22 financial disclosure form that he gave the Wall Street Journal to review, Mahmood Karzai declared his net worth was $US12,157,491, with assets of $US21,163,347 and liabilities of $US9,006,106. He reported an annual income of just over $US400,000 but didn’t provide dates. Mr Karzai, an American citizen, blamed the allegations that he was transferring illicitly earned cash from Afghanistan on political opponents.“Yes, millions of dollars are leaving this country but it is all taken by politicians. Bribes, corruption, all of it,” he said. “But let’s find out who is taking it. Let’s not go on rumours. I’ve said this to the Americans.”
President Karzai addressed the matter at a news conference on Saturday, calling for greater scrutiny of business run by relatives of officials.“Making money is fine and taking money out of the country is fine,” he said. “The relatives of government officials can do this, starting with my brothers. But there’s a possibility of corruption,” he said, without being specific.Between the beginning of 2007 and February of this year, at least $US3.18 billion left through the airport, according to Afghan customs records reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
US officials say the sum of declared money may actually be higher: One courier alone carried $US2.3 billion between the second half of 2008 and the end of 2009, said a senior US official, citing other documents that are in the possession of investigators. The officer said officials believe the money was declared, and that Afghan customs records may not be complete.In their declarations, couriers must record their own names and the origins of the money they are transporting. Instead, they usually record the name of the Afghan hawala that is making the transfer and the one in Dubai that is accepting the cash. Often, the actual sender of the money isn’t named, officials said.
“We do not even know about it. We don’t know whose it is, why it is leaving, or where it is going,” Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said at a December conference about the money leaving the airport. Apart from US dollars, the currencies being flown out range from Saudi riyals and Pakistani rupees to Norwegian kroners and even outdated Deutsche marks now redeemable for euros. “You get boxes loaded on the back of airplanes. You get guys, literally, bringing boxes of cash onto the plane,” said the senior US official. The declared cash is believed to represent only “a small percentage” of the money moving out of the airport and all of Afghanistan, said General M. Asif Jabar Khail, the chief customs officer at Kabul’s airport.
Hundreds of millions of undeclared dollars, maybe billions, are being carried across Afghanistan’s porous border with Iran and Pakistan, where a number of Afghan hawalas have branches, he said. Afghanistan’s endemic corruption and the suspected involvement of high-ranking officials in the opium trade has left the government deeply unpopular and fuelled support for the Taliban, undercutting a war effort that is now focused on convincing Afghans to support their own state and turn away from the insurgents. US officials are also trying to disrupt the flow of money to the Taliban.The insurgency is believed to earn a large portion of its operating expenses from extortion and the opium trade, funds that can easily be moved abroad to avoid detection or seizure
Ons advies ga eerst eens een kop koffie drinken en voorts bedanken wij de WallStreet Journal, M. Rosenberg voor dit laatste gedeelte van ons artikel.