NEW YORK — Saddam Hussein has diverted as much as 5% of Iraq's oil earnings for his own use and has successfully hidden his fortune in an intricate web of foreign assets, a broadcast report said Sunday.
The CBS news program "60 Minutes" quoted a private investigator, hired by Kuwait to look into Hussein's wealth, as saying the Iraqi leader has taken as much as $11 billion from his country's oil earnings alone.
"This is an organized crime activity that has been going on for . . . a long time," said Jules Kroll, a New York-based investigator hired by the Kuwaiti government, which charges that Iraq plundered the desert kingdom after invading last August.
Kroll said Iraqi leaders have set up a "network outside the country that has vast, vast assets."
"We have uncovered Iraqi front companies stretching from Italy to France to Germany to the Channel Islands to the U.K.," as well as the United States, Kroll said.