Duped Workers Build Baghdad Embassy

Kuwaiti firm lures poor laborers to Iraq; enslaves them on massive US project
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2007 10:56 AM CDT
This computer generated architectural rendering recently posted on the architect's web site reportedly shows the pool house in the American Embassy complex in Baghdad, Iraq, currently under construction....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Kuwaiti company building the $592 million US embassy in Baghdad is under scrutiny for allegedly tricking workers into coming to Iraq. The Justice Department says Kuwaiti First promised poor workers from Bangladesh and Pakistan it would send them to Dubai, but instead brought them to the Green Zone, seized their passports, and trapped them on the potentially hazardous project.

Inauspiciously, the embassy is one of the only US-led construction projects in Iraq likely to be finished on schedule and under budget. American officials prohibited Kuwaiti First from using Iraqi workers to build the embassy, for fear that intelligence might be passed along to insurgents. Embassy plans have, nonetheless, leaked onto the internet.