Millions in Drugs, Cars Missing From Iraq Embassy

Government auditors found 159 missing vehicles, 2,236 unused cell phones and 563 DVD players collecting dust at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

A new report by the State Department Inspector General found more than $23 million dollars was spent on supplies that were either wasted or used ineffectively.

Auditors found shoddy record keeping at the embassy's pharmacy and noted 7,196 missing items including controlled substances such as morphine and oxycodone.

The report also notes 159 "unaccounted for" vehicles valued at $18.5 million. An additional 282 vehicles, valued at $40.4 million, are not tracked in the embassy's motor vehicle database.

Auditors were also concerned about the purchase of items deemed "expendable" such as household furniture, medical and security equipment and pharmaceuticals. They also identified excess property such as 364 beds, 346 box springs and 631 televisions, valued at over $2.3 million dollars.

Over 2,200 cell phones at the embassy were either unassigned or unused, costing taxpayers $268,000 dollars in charges each year, according to the IG report. The cell phone provider, Asiacell Communication LLC, charges the embassy $10 per month per line, whether or not the phone is ever used.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, employs over 1,700 individuals, spanning over 16 different government agencies and private companies, and has an annual budget of $1.5 billion dollars.

  • Laura Strickler

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