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Army sergeants discover cache of $650 million
LA Times via Minneapolis Star-Tribune ^ | April 19, 2003 | David Zucchino

Posted on 04/19/2003 1:04:50 AM PDT by sarcasm

BAGHDAD -- Two Army sergeants searching for saws to clear branches blocking their Humvees stumbled across a sealed-up cottage Friday. It led to their discovery of an estimated $650 million in cash.

The sergeants tore down a cinder block and concrete barricade blocking the cottage door and found 40 sealed metal boxes lined up on the stone floor. Breaking open one box, they were stunned to discover 40 sealed stacks of uncirculated $100 bills -- $100,000 per stack, or $4 million in the box. In all, the 40 boxes were assumed to contain $160 million.

But there was more.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 3rd; chainsaw; discovery; embeddedreport; federalreserve; iraqifreedom; palace; usdollars
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To: isrul
Apparently not counterfeit: The bills were used.
21 posted on 04/19/2003 5:12:48 AM PDT by Clara Lou (Democrats... united as ever in opportunism and error.)
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To: Clara Lou; isrul
The bank seals tend to indicate that it's not counterfeit, either.
22 posted on 04/19/2003 5:16:47 AM PDT by AnAmericanMother (. . . there is nothing new under the sun.)
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To: sarcasm
Folding money, no doubt.
23 posted on 04/19/2003 5:19:23 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: Miss Marple
Hey, don't forget she had that little something with Michael Jackson. After all, he told his plastic surgeon his goal is to look like Liz when she did Black Beauty.
24 posted on 04/19/2003 5:25:54 AM PDT by doosee
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To: condi2008
Well, she was married to Richard Burton twice, but I don't think she was Mrs. Burton Burton. LOL! I had forgotten about Warner and the carpenter guy she married. I used to know all the husband's in order, back in the days when I actually paid attention to Hollywood. This time I had to go look it up, as I couldn't remember Michael Wilding.
25 posted on 04/19/2003 5:38:07 AM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: hotpotato
.... two pig-latin-named sons"

Thanks for my first laugh of the day.
26 posted on 04/19/2003 5:53:11 AM PDT by panaxanax
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To: panaxanax
In WWII, the Nazis counterfeited British currency. The Brits altered theirs, as a result. Government printing facilities make very good counterfeits -- one of the subtexts of this war. Think passports and other key documentation.
27 posted on 04/19/2003 6:36:30 AM PDT by MoralSense
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To: sarcasm
uncirculated $100 bills

This report is wrong. I heard an interview on the radio yesterday afternoon with the soldier that found the money. His statement was that the bills looked used and that the serial numbers were not consecutive.

28 posted on 04/19/2003 10:15:47 AM PDT by metalurgist (Never underestimate the power of a large group of stupid people....... U S Congress's real motto)
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To: metalurgist
The question is can we confiscate and keep this money? How about using it to pay for the some of the war costs?
29 posted on 04/19/2003 11:47:12 AM PDT by mrfixit514
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To: sarcasm

Maj. Rodney King holds a stack of $100 bills, part of the estimated $650 million found today in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces.

Hole in a Wall at a Palace Yields Millions in U.S. Cash
The NY Times

AT THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, near Baghdad, Iraq, April 19 - A huge cache of United States currency that American soldiers found hidden in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces could be as much as $656 million, senior officials said today.

Lt. Col. Mack Huey, provost marshal of the Third Infantry Division, said the money was found when a sergeant went to look for a chain saw in a small building on the grounds of one of Mr. Hussein's palaces and was moved to the airport on Friday night.

The sergeant noticed a hole in a false wall and some metal containers were found on the other side. Checks at other nearby sites yielded a total of 164 metal containers.

All the boxes were riveted shut with the same lead, paper and plastic seals. They bore green tags indicating, according to military officials, that the money had originally been acquired from the Bank of Jordan. When six of the containers were selected at random and opened, each was found to contain $4 million in neatly stacked $100 bills.

"Based on the sample, the estimated value is about $650 million," Colonel Huey said. Some officials first estimated it might be about half that.

The funds are being held under guard at the airport. Two large pallets of the metal crates have been loaded onto large trucks inside a fenced-off compound protected by the military police and tracked vehicles with .50-caliber machine guns.

Only a close inspection of the bank tags and the armed guards standing astride the cargo suggest what may be inside. Otherwise, the boxes could be part of the mass of supplies that are being shipped into the airport as United States forces settle into Iraq.

American officials said the currency would be flown to a secure location for safekeeping and turned over to the new leadership of Iraq.

"Our intention is to safeguard these funds so they can be used in the rebuilding and reconstruction of Iraq to benefit the people," said Sgt. First Class David Dismukes, a spokesman for the allied land command.

American forces fought their way into Baghdad almost two weeks ago. The palace grounds where the funds were found is controlled by Second Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, which led the Army assault on the Iraqi capital.

The money had been placed in a small structure that American forces passed numerous times and would never have inspected had soldiers not been looking for a chainsaw and other tools to fix up their compound.

After the funds were discovered, the military police hauled away three truckloads of the containers on Friday night. Five of the boxes were opened and when Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III, the commander of the Third Infantry Division came in today, he ordered that one more be picked at random and opened. As with the other opened boxes, it contained $4 million.

How Mr. Hussein's officials intended to use the money remains a mystery, but it may be that the funds, like the furniture and paintings from some of his palaces, were moved from potential targets and hidden in the expectation that Mr. Hussein would survive the war and retain power. Inside the opened boxes were orderly piles of United States $100 bills wrapped in plastic. The packs of cash bear the markings of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Most of the bills are brand new, and the serial numbers run in sequence. But some of the bills appear to be used. There is paperwork inside indicating, officials said, that the funds were taken from the Bank of Iraq after their transfer from the Bank of Jordan.

"We have run across currency before, but nothing like this," said Master Sgt. David James, the operations noncommissioned officer for the provost marshal's office. "To see the way the people of Iraq live and then to see so much cash, it's insane."

These are not the only funds that the military police here are securing. They have $6.3 million more in cash that was seized when American forces stopped a bank robbery in Baghdad. That money is being added to the shipment of funds being flown from here tonight.

The official value given by officials for all the money being shipped is $661,893,800.

Bonds depicting Saddam Hussein's likeness were also discovered, but these are likely to be of interest primarily to war buffs and historians.

An Army finance officer, Maj. Rod King, came to the site today to make sure that the accounting was in order. "Most people don't think of finance on the battlefield," he said. "But there is a role in this conflict, and it appears we will continue to receive captured currency. We have not secured funds like this since World War II."

30 posted on 04/19/2003 4:01:12 PM PDT by Archangelsk (Think politically not emotionally.)
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To: Archangelsk
You know there is a movie in all this.
Hollywoood is salivating at the thought.
31 posted on 04/19/2003 4:05:17 PM PDT by tet68 (Jeremiah 51:24 ..."..Before your eyes I will repay Babylon for all the wrong they have done in Zion")
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To: tet68
Yes, except Clint Eastwood is too old, Donald Southerland is too distinguished, Don Rickles is too fat, and Telly Savalas is too dead. Guess we'll have to go with David Statham, Matthew Perry, Jim Carrey and Michael Clarke Duncan.
32 posted on 04/19/2003 6:31:55 PM PDT by Archangelsk (Think politically not emotionally.)
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To: Mark17
the conspiracy theorist, sherman skolnick, says george bush sr. and saddam were "business partners" 25-27 years ago when bush was cia chief. (see skolnick's site and read "the overthrow of the american republic" part 23, dated 12/20/02. and that bush was instrumental in installing saddam.

bush supposedly flooded iraq and the mid-east with counterfeit money made by master "cutters", so good, a lot of this phony money would pass through the fed reserve banks undetected.

if less than half of his theories are true (not much way to know), scholnick wouldn't be at all surprised at finding huge sums of u.s. "money" in iraq.

33 posted on 04/23/2003 1:16:44 PM PDT by dave66
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To: Leisler
A fan of Kelly, I presume?
34 posted on 04/23/2003 3:29:34 PM PDT by Mark17
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To: Mark17

35 posted on 04/23/2003 5:12:33 PM PDT by Leisler (I am a carnivore and I vote.)
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To: tet68
Actually, "Three Kings" had a similar plot. They were trying to find the gold that Saddam had stolen from Kuwait's vaults.

Maybe I'm weak, but if I had been there, this story would have read "Marines find stash of 500 million."
36 posted on 04/23/2003 5:32:35 PM PDT by Skywalk
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