An investigation into the death of a US Special Forces soldier killed in Mali last year has prompted an internal audit and subsequent follow-up investigation of members of United States the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, better known as DEVGRU or “SEAL Team Six.”
The shadowy yet heavily-publicized organization credited with the killing of Osama bin Laden is now being investigated more thoroughly on suspicion that two SEALs investigated in the death of U.S. Army special forces Staff Sergeant Logan Melgar were stealing cash from unit funds designed to pay off informants.
In light of these accusations, the new investigation seeks to determine whether or not such fund theft if routine among a unit-wide level.
Melgar, a member of the 3rd Special Forces Group, was killed last June in US Embassy housing after allegedly being “choked out” by DEVGRU member Anthony DeDolph, all while fellow SEAL Adam Matthews watched.
The two SEALs had previously claimed that Melgar was intoxicated at the time of his death and that they had found him unresponsive, prompting them to poorly attempt an emergency tracheotomy.
However, following autopsy reports, inquiries and other investigative measures, the SEALs quickly began changing their story- and more than one time.
A person close to the investigation claims a witness told the NCIS that Melgar had been with the SEALs earlier in the evening of his death, but had returned to their shared embassy housing and made a video call to his wife. According to Meglar’s wife, he told his wife the two SEALs wanted him to participate in something, but he had refused.
The investigation revealed that tension had been building between the SF operator and the SEALs for some time, following what one special operations consultant believes was Melgar’s discovery that the SEALs had been stashing informant money.
Special Operations has been known to have aceess to amounts on money ranging from $20,000 to $60,000 that are used to pay informatnts for gathering intelligence. The Intercept alleges several former members of SEAL Team 6 admited having knowledge of the contingency funds and informant money being frequently pilfered by members of the unit.
While the two SEALs continue to deny pocketing informant money, the investigation appears to be closing in on the matter, which in itself is not the first of its nature when it comes to DEVGRU.
“The system is ripe for abuse,” said one former SEAL Team 6 leader, who spoke with the publication. “We knew this money wasn’t being tracked, and guys were stuffing their pockets.”
In 2009, DEVGRU operators were suspected of stealing $30,000 in cash from the lifeboat where Somali pirates were holding Captain Richard Phillips and his crew hostage off the coast of Somalia. Despite an investigation, no SEALs were charged and no money was ever recovered.
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