Thursday, July 12, 2007

Systemic Breakdown in Security

In a secure, stable country operating under the rule of law, a thief who expects to be able to walk away with a couple hundred million dollars needs at least an MBA, although a J.D. is better. In Iraq, anyone can dream this large as there was a three hundred million dollar heist yesterday:

Thieves have stolen nearly $300 million from a bank in Baghdad, police and a bank official said Thursday, in what is probably one of the biggest thefts in Iraq since the 2003 war to topple Saddam Hussein.

Police said the thieves were three guards who worked at the private Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad's Karrada district They said that when bank employees arrived for work on Wednesday they found the front door open and the money gone. The guards, who normally slept at the bank, had also disappeared, they said.

$300,000,000 in cash, assuming it is in $100 bills, weighs roughly 20 tons , so this was not a smash and grab ATM operation. A bank just does not lose that much money and no one notices it or raises an alarm to someone in the security operation except when there is no effectiev security or trust of the security services.

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