Girlfriends Fleecing Troops Overseas

Girlfriends fleecing troops overseas
By Edmund Burke
October 15, 2006 12:00am

Article from: Sunday Territorian (Australia)

TERRITORY-based troops are returning from war zones to discover they've been fleeced by gold-digging wives and girlfriends.

A News Ltd investigation has revealed some soldiers have had up to $50,000 taken from joint bank accounts by greedy partners.

The problem has become so widespread the Defence Department now gives departing troops advice on how to protect their cash while they are overseas.

"It is out of control. You will not meet a single soldier who doesn't know someone this has happened to," one Iraq veteran said.

"It is terrible for morale because no matter how much you trust your partner ... that fear is lurking in the back of your mind. You don't want to be watching your back in some desert and worrying about what's going on back home."

A military instructor said civilian experts were brought in to warn troops of the risks.

He said he knew of at least five soldiers fleeced by their partners in the past three years.

"It's a real problem for the younger guys because they can be a bit naive where women are concerned," he said. "They might be with someone for a few months and are moved up to somewhere like Darwin and the girl comes with them.

"The next thing you know they are going overseas and sending money home to their partner. The partner feels stranded, then she sees all this money coming in and she cuts her losses and runs."

An army private can make about $2000 a week during a tour of duty in deadly war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. During a six-month deployment in a war zone, a private can make more than $50,000 tax free.

A Queensland veteran said he was three months into a six-month tour of East Timor when he returned home on a relief visit in 2001 - only to discover his partner of four years had taken $18,000 and his furniture.

"I spoke to an army solicitor and he said if I stayed to fight it I could maybe miss out on the next three months' pay and end up with nothing," the former soldier, 26, said.

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Have Your SayLatest Comments:

All soldiers are given financial advice prior to any deployment overseas. Unfortunately some do not listen or doing anything with the information and some whole heartedly trust their spouse. I witnessed several spouses spending up large while their partners were serving overseas, but obviouly could not do anything about it except to inform the pardre, who also couldn't do anything. Any soldier who may be going overseas on deployment in the future should learn from this and allow the same income into joint accounts and the rest into another single account if they slightly suspect their spouse is not good when it comes to lack of being able to save or their relationship is not "rock solid".Posted by: Army Wife of Wagga Wagga 11:34am today

Why should the soldiers be protected from gold diggers when everyone else isn't? All separtaion laws should be changed when not envoling children. Posted by: Cameron of Rosebud 10:43am today

As private investigator, many clients from the defence forces, had wanted advise on how to retrieve their cash, from their partners, ran sacked , and cheated on, nothing new i told them, its also going on with civil life partnering, the onus is on you, the system alows ran sacking.Posted by: NICK KOUSSIDIS of BELMORE 10:34am today

that happened to a bloke I served in the navy with. We came back from an Asian deployment and he was $30,000 poorer thanks to his gold digger.
Posted by: pete 9:22am today

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