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Iraqi embassy in Bangladesh formally closed

Press Trust of India

Posted: Aug 11, 2003 at 1730 hrs IST

Iraq's embassy in Dhaka has been formally closed, three days after a Delhi-based Iraqi diplomat was detained here for allegedly carrying huge quantity of unauthorised foreign currency to India.

"The Iraqi mission has notified us that it has shut down and the staff were preparing to leave," a foreign ministry official said on Monday.

"All formalities for closure of the mission are complete," the Charge de' Affaires of Iraqi embassy, Adnan Hatab, told vernacular daily Ittefaq.

The mission had been inactive since the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the US-led war.

Customs officials at Dhaka's Zia International Airport on Friday had seized 1,72,520 US dollars from Omar Manir Shehab Ahmed, third secretary of Iraqi embassy in India, as he was trying to go to India without proper authorisation.

Following the seizure, reports appeared in several dailies suggesting that Iraqi mission will be closed down soon or be shifted elsewhere.

Hatab, who was summoned to the foreign ministry Saturday, reportedly told the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary that the money seized was being taken out as part of shifting the mission to Delhi.

After the seizure, Omar Manir Shehab Ahmed was handed over to the Iraqi mission.

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