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Newsweek, November 3 issue The $87 Billion Money Pit http://www.msnbc.com/news/985304.asp " .... American companies are barred by law from paying bribes or taking kickbacks abroad. But Iraq is still largely a lawless place. And one company director for a British firm doing business in Baghdad says that makes all the difference. “I’ve never seen corruption like this by expatriate businessmen. It’s like a feeding frenzy,” he says. One prominent Iraqi businessman said he was told he’d have to raise his bid by $750,000 to get a major contract, so long as he kicked back that amount to the contractor’s rep. The businessman refused to identify the contractor, but did say, “No Iraqi would ask for a bribe that big.” NEWSWEEK witnessed such behavior directly: An Iraqi-Anglo joint venture did a relatively small job in the magazine’s Baghdad bureau. When a final price had been agreed, the company’s Iraqi manager said, “Shall we add a commission of 10 percent?” Commission? “Well, you would keep that of course,” he said. In other words, a kickback. When NEWSWEEK declined, he said, “You’re the first one who didn’t want a commission.” .... .." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk