Iraq Oil-for-Food inquiry releases names

Oct. 21, 2004 at 4:46 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The independent panel investigating the Iraq Oil-for-Food Program lists 248 companies that bought oil and 3,545 companies that sold to Baghdad.

The oil contracts garnered $64.2 billion and the goods and services sold with the approval of the U.N. Sanctions Committee amounted to $32.9 billion.

Paul Volcker, chairman of the U.N.-mandated Independent Inquiry Committee, Thursday also said the bank chosen by the regime of Saddam Hussein to handle the transactions, Paris-based BNP Paribas, had only been cooperating "up to a point" and Ernst & Young, hired by the Iraqis to look into allegations of corruption also balked at cooperating.

But when pressed by reporters at a news conference at the Metropolitan Hotel in New York, Volcker said the disputes the panel encountered were expected to be resolved.

Volcker said the information released was "not a report on what went wrong and is not a report on what went right. That is our mission but that is not what we are reporting today."

He did, however, report "substantial progress" into allegations of corruption in the program without giving any details.

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