WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than half a billion dollars earmarked to fight the insurgency in Iraq has been stolen by people running the country's Ministry of Defense before the 2005 elections, CBS News reported. Citing Iraqi investigators, the television network said Sunday the United States and Britain are doing little to help recover the money or catch suspects, most of whom have fled the country. An investigation conducted by the "60 Minutes" program has also turned up audio recordings of a suspect who seems to be discussing the transfer of 45 million dollars to the account of a top political adviser to the interim defense minister of Iraq, the report said. "We have not been given any serious, official support from either the United States or the UK or any of the surrounding Arab countries," Ali Allawi, Iraq's former finance minister, told the program. "The only explanation I can come up with is that too many people in positions of power and authority in the new Iraq have been, in one way or another, found with their hands inside the cookie jar," continued Allawi, who left his post when a new Iraqi government was formed earlier this year. "And if they are brought to trial, it will cast a very disparaging light on those people who had supported them and brought them to this position of power and authority," he said. One of the major suspects in the case is Ziad Cattan, who was in charge of military procurement at a time when the ministry of defense went on a 1.2-billion-dollar buying spree, CBS News said. Allawi estimates that between 750 million and 800 million dollars of that money was stolen. Meanwhile, Judge Radhi al-Radhi, head of Iraq's Commission on Public Integrity, which investigates official corruption, said a lot of the money that was not stolen was spent on outdated, useless equipment. Cattan, whom "60 Minutes" found in Paris and who was recently convicted in absentia in Iraq for squandering public funds, denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, audio recordings obtained by CBS News reveal Cattan talking to an associate in Amman, Jordan, in 2004 about Iraqi funds and payoffs to Iraqi officials. One possible payoff the recordings allude to is the transfer of 45 million dollars to the account of a top political adviser to the defense minister, a man who is also identified on the recordings as a representative of the president and the prime minister of the interim government, the report said.