Like a father laying down the law to his teenage son, the government says that as long as Iraq occupies Kuwait, Saddam Hussein can't use the car.
The Iraqi president's black, bomb-proof $300,000 limousine is resting on its bulletproof tires at a repair shop in the suburb of Livonia, Mich., where the Cadillac was sent to have its engine rebuilt, the Customs Service said Monday.It will be held there under authority of President Bush's executive order freezing Iraqi assets in the United States, the agency said.
"We have reason to believe that this car might have been used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein," said Donald Watson, Customs assistant regional commissioner of enforcement in Chicago. "In any case, he's not going to get it back."
The Customs Service titled its news release on the car "Is Saddam Hussein Walking?"
The Cadillac was one of 12 bought by Iraq in 1988 from O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt Manufacturing Co., a maker of armored vehicles in Cincinnati, the Customs Service said. The car has bomb-proof armor and tear-gas dispensers.
Iraq returned the limousine to O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt in June for refurbishing, and the Ohio company then sent it to ECS-Roush in Livonia for engine work, Turner said.
Bush froze Iraqi assets after Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait.