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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 April, 2003, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Stash of money found in Baghdad

Foreign currency worth nearly $200m has been found in a Baghdad neighbourhood, the US military say.

Troops found $100m and 90m euros in 31 containers, US Central Command said.

The money has been flown out of the country to a "secure location" for counting purposes and will eventually be returned to Iraq to help rebuild the country, the US said.

Last week, US troops found more than $650m in the same area of Baghdad.

Soldiers questioned

The latest banknotes were discovered between 23 and 26 April in an area of Baghdad secured by members of the US 3rd Infantry Division, according to a US statement.

The funds will eventually be returned to the Iraqis to help rebuild their nation
US Central Command

It did not specify exactly where the money was found, although the funds were said to have been kept in containers.

The statement said the containers were flown from Baghdad International Airport on Sunday under an escort of police officers, criminal investigators and financial experts.

"The money arrived at a secure location for counting purposes at approximately 1030 that morning," the statement said.

"Soldiers of the unit in charge of the counting took approximately five hours to finish this count.

"Funds will remain secure until a stable government is established in Iraq and will ultimately be returned to the Iraqis to assist in the re-building of their nation."

The funds which were found last week are also being held at an undisclosed location.

The money had been hidden behind the false wall of a house searched by US troops. It is thought the stash could have been left by fleeing regime leaders.

Five US soldiers are currently being questioned by military officials after some of that money was allegedly stolen following its discovery.


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