Iraq money and gold retrieved

US occupation forces have retrieved $250 million from the basement of the Central Bank in Baghdad and seized large quantities of gold as it was being moved outside the capital. 

Last month US soldiers found
$4 million near a Baghdad bank

The US civil administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer said the money was found undamaged at the bank’s basement in central Baghdad.

Bremer said he did not know where the money came from, adding it will be kept in the bank.

Iraqi bankers had said finance ministry and Baath party officials moved around $1 billion from the Central Bank to government branches for safekeeping shortly before the US-led war in March.

In northern Iraq, US troops also seized a truck laden with gold bars worth up to $100 million at a checkpoint. It was the second such find in four days.

Soldiers found 999 bars under a tarpaulin in a vehicle on Sunday, during a search near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. They questioned the truck’s three passengers.

The driver said he had been paid $300 to carry what he said were copper bars from Baghdad to the north of the country.

US military officials said the bars were not minted and had been melted down too quickly.

The load would probably be transferred to Baghdad.

Last week US forces found about 2,000 bars believed to be gold worth $500 million during a vehicle search. That driver also said he had been paid $300.

In a separate incident, US forces detained former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s brother-in-law in the deposed leader’s hometown of Tikrit.

Muhanna Hamood Abdul Jabar was detained in the early hours of Sunday. He was not on the US list of the 55 most wanted Iraqis.

Jabar was carrying $300,000, three AK-47 assault rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade.