He left with a truckload of cash......

from: Qusai Hussein

The New York Times reported that Saddam Hussein ordered the money be taken from the Central Bank and sent his son Qusai to grab the cash in the middle of the night.

The amount of money - $900 million in U.S. $100 bills and $100 million in euros - was so large it had to be taken from the bank in three tractor trailers, The New York Times reported. U.S. Treasury officials couldn't confirm the information on the euros taken from the Central Bank.

Qusai, Saddam's younger son, and Abid al-Haimd Mahmood, Saddam's personal assistant, organized the removal of the cash, the Times report said, quoting an Iraqi banking official who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals from Saddam's Baath Party.

The Iraqi official said the funds removal took place at 4 a.m. on March 18. U.S. Treasury official George Mullinax, who is assigned to help rebuild Iraq's banking system, told the Times that about the $900 million was taken by ``Saddam Hussein's people.''

The Iraqi official said the money taken amounted to a quarter of the Central Bank's hard currency reserves.

A U.S. Army Special Forces officer, Col. Ted Seel, said intelligence indicated that a convoy of tractor trailers crossed the border into Syria, but that the contents of the trucks was unknown, the Times report said.

Mullinax told the newspaper it was possible that much of the money had already been recovered. He said the roughly $650 million found by U.S. forces in one of Saddam's palaces last month might have been from the Central Bank.

The Iraqi official, however, felt the money found in the palace did not come from that Central Bank raid but belonged to Saddam's oldest son Odai, whom he said was known for hoarding large sums of cash.

The newspaper said the nearly billion dollars taken by Saddam was nearly twice the amount looted by Iraqis from the bank after the April 9 collapse of Saddam's regime.



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