It has been called the largest airborne transfer of currency in the history of the world. But finding out what happened to all the money involved has become one of the biggest financial mysteries of all time.
Beginning in the very earliest days of the war in Iraq, the New York Federal Reserve shipped billions of dollars in physical cash to Baghdad to pay for the reopening of the government and restoration of basic services.
By one account, the New York Fed shipped about $40 billion in cash between 2003 and 2008. In just the first two years, the shipments included more than 281 million individual bills weighing a total of 363 tons. Soon after the money arrived in the chaos of war-torn Baghdad, however, the paper trail documenting who controlled the cash began to go cold.
The following are photos obtained by CNBC that document some of these shipments and show how the money was handled. Click ahead for the photos. Read the full story here.
By Eamon Javers
Posted 26 October 2011