Iraq recovers computers involved in corruption row

Port official sold $1.9m worth of computers for a little over $45,000

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Iraq recovers computers involved in corruption row Iraqi port city of Umm Qasr. (Getty Images)
By  Vineetha Menon Published  August 30, 2010

Iraqi custom officials claim to have recovered 90% of the computers that were sold for cheap by an unnamed port official instead of being offered as a gift to local schoolchildren.

$1.9 million worth of computers, bought by U.S. forces for schoolchildren in the Babil province, were supposedly misappropriated by the official who auctioned the units for $45,700.

The situation first came to light when U.S. forces in southern Iraq accused the official at the Umm Qasr port on Thursday, as reported by the Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

The Umm Qasr Customs Department retaliated on Friday saying the computers were sold in accordance with the legal disposal procedure for goods that remain unclaimed 90 days after arriving in Iraq.

"On May 19 we received a list from the port of Umm Qasr of containers arriving more than 90 days earlier and which had not been claimed," customs chief Nofal Salim told AFP. "No container belonging to the American military appeared on the list."

Salim added that there were two from a company named ‘Global' without any indication that they were destined for education authorities in Babil.

Global only submitted a claim for the containers on August 22nd, six months after their arrival, Salim stated.

"The customs service in the south cancelled the sale and has recovered more than 90 percent of the cargo, which will be sent to the Umm Qasr port where the company can get them back (computers)," he added.

A statement from the US military disputes Salim's version of events and the U.S. army commander in southern Iraq, Major General Vincent Brooks, has called for "an immediate investigation into the actions of the Umm Qasr official."

3147 days ago
Lilian S. Fernandes

If it's been auctioned for US$45,000 where will the monye go? Will it go to the government office or to their own pockets? Why it's not been claimed for 6 months? Did they inform the consignee that the goods are in their possession and is ready for collection? What about the consignee, why is it that they did not claim their cargo?

3152 days ago
Dr Joel Kidds

Why do we even think that the computers were sold for a mans pocket money ? As the bases closed and the Iraqi's came in to take over - everything was ripped from the walls, the bathrooms, the furniture, etc. to be sold or stolen by them ! What a joke ! To think that something for some Iraqi school children would not be stolen and then sold for profit of that individual... You should be very a shamed for what you did Mr. Iraqi Customs Official.

3153 days ago
Dr William Zelinka

as readers we all hope for a follow up to this tale of corruption . Let us know the name of the official and how his case is being tried, let us follow this ..every detail because when you find such a story, so telling of how good people want to help others and how empowered people are fearless of everything including God/Allah...

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