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Troops in Iraq Seize What May Be Gold Bars

The World

May 24, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — American troops have seized what appears to be $500 million worth of gold bars from a truck in Iraq, the U.S. military said Friday.

The 2,000 40-pound bars were seized Thursday at Al Qaim on the Syrian border by soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, U.S. Central Command said. It said if the bars are gold they could be worth as much as $500 million, depending on karat weight and purity.

Central Command said soldiers found the bars while conducting "a routine traffic control search" of a Mercedes truck.

Two occupants of the truck, who were taken into custody, said that they had been paid about $350 to drive the truck to Al Qaim and that they were told the bars were bronze, Central Command said. The person who was supposed to receive the truck was not identified.

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