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UNscam is the name given to the scandal surrounding the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program. The story began to unfold on January 25, 2004, when the independent Baghdad weekly al-Mada (in Arabic) "published a list of 270 people and organizations that allegedly received valuable oil vouchers from the government of Saddam Hussein between 1996 and 2002. On the list were the names of "multi-national corporations, UN officials, and top French and Russian politicians ... who had received oil contracts from Saddam in exchange for either supporting the Iraqi regime, helping Saddam import illegal materials, or simply ignoring the ongoing corruption. These beneficiaries could then turn around and sell the contracts to legitimate oil traders, making a tidy profit." The story was then translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute. [1][2]

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