BNL scrutiny

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The Independent Online
US investigators are widening their probe into BNL, the Italian bank whose Atlanta branch is suspected of making fraudulent loans to Iraq. Henry Gonzalez, chairman of the US House Banking Committee, said his panel was looking at 'the pre-invasion and post-invasion activities of several US- based banks that were providing financial services to Iraq from the United States.'

According to US prosecutors, the Atlanta branch made dollars 4bn in fraudulent loans to Iraq. Half were backed by US credit guarantees for food purchases and half were for commercial projects. Investigators have released a three-page list of purchases made from just one tranche of loans.

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