UN officials looted Iraq aid

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Documents from Saddam’s oil ministry linked the program’s director, Benon Sevan, to a payoff scheme that allowed some 270 foreign officials to deal in Iraqi oil at dramatically reduced prices, America’s ABC news said.

A letter to former Iraqi oil minister Amer Mohammed Rasheed – which UN officials have not yet seen – said that Sevan indicated which company should handle his own oil deal valued at up to $US3.5 million.

Sevan has denied the accusations, which came a day before the UN Security Council is set to give its backing for an investigation into alleged fraud and corruption in the program led by former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker.

UN officials said they did not know the identities of the other two officials mentioned in the report. They were not named by ABC.