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Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

Iraq’s Corruption Scandal Continues to Stir Popular, Official Reactions

Iraq’s Corruption Scandal Continues to Stir Popular, Official Reactions

A huge corruption scandal involving the theft of 3.7 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.5 billion) from the Iraqi tax authorities’ account continued to spark official and popular reactions, amid unconfirmed reports that the stolen funds amount to ten trillion Iraqi dinars.
The largest theft of its kind - “the theft of the century” – comes as Iraq has been suffering for nearly two decades from organized looting by corruption networks protected by political cover.

According to a 40-page file, the theft was carried out by five fake companies, in cooperation with a large group of officials and employees of the Tax Authority and Rafidain Bank, along with senior officials in the government and Parliament.

The investigation data revealed that Hussein Kawa Abdul Qadir, 21, the owner of the “Baghdad Winds” company, and his client, Abdul-Mahdi Tawfiq, withdrew the amount of 624 billion dinars (about $500 million) for his company, which was established a few months ago with a modest capital of only one million dinars (about $750).

On Tuesday, the Karkh Second Investigation Court, ordered the summoning of the Director General of the General Tax Authority and his assistant, as well as other Authority officials. A statement by the judiciary noted that the decision came in accordance with the provisions of Article 340 of the Penal Code for the charge of willfully inflicting damage on the funds of the Ministry of Finance.

The court also issued arrest warrants against the owners of the companies, placing a precautionary seizure on their accounts, in addition to forming a joint audit committee, comprising members from the Ministry of Finance, the General Tax Authority, Rafidain Bank and the Integrity Commission, to audit the disbursed amounts.

In turn, the Ministry of Finance issued a lengthy statement detaining the scandal and confirming the arrest of some of the accused in the theft.

As part of its efforts to protect public money, the ministry also announced the establishment of an investigation committee.
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