Phony currency is aimed at Iraq's economy

May 27, 1992|By New York Times News Service

AMMAN, Jordan -- Counterfeit currency is being smuggled into Iraq by intelligence services of the United States, and other countries, according to Western diplomats.

The fake dinar notes are being smuggled across the Jordanian, Saudi, Turkish and Iranian borders in an effort to undermine the Iraqi economy, said the Arab and Western officials here who closely monitor the situation inside Iraq.

Those officials said counterfeit dollars are being smuggled into Iraq in smaller quantities to further confound the banking system. The officials, who insisted on not being identified, said the countries behind the separate counterfeiting operations included Western nations, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel.

The fake currency has contributed to Iraq's severe inflation problem.

The fake currency is openly discussed in the press and by the people in Iraq. The counterfeiting problem has become serious enough to be loudly denounced by the government, which is taking measures to curb it, including instituting life sentences for cooperating in circulating counterfeit dollars or dinars and death sentences for those who smuggle them into the country.

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