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Minister: $1 Billion Plundered From Iraqi Funds

19 September 2005 -- Iraq's finance minister says that some $1 billion have been stolen from Iraq's government ministries.

Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi made his remarks in an interview published today by Britain's "The Independent" newspaper.

Allawi says corruption is to blame for the massive loss in funds. He describes the losses as "possibly one of the largest thefts in history."

Allawi says the losses were accounted particularly in the Defense Ministry.

He said that between $500-600 million dollars have vanished from the Electricity, Transport, Interior and other ministries.