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How Iraq recovers 350 billion dollars fleeing the hands of the corrupt

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2021/04/01 13:45   The number of readings is 2999   Section: File and Analysis


How Iraq recovers 350 billion dollars fleeing the hands of the corrupt

Baghdad / Obelisk: Despite its vast oil wealth, Iraq is still grappling with many social and economic problems that made the street revolt against its officials repeatedly during mass popular demonstrations.

Among the reasons that made Mesopotamia at the bottom of the rankings in terms of growth is the phenomenon of corruption that has spread in all parts of the state for years.

The Parliamentary Integrity Committee revealed, last week, about the smuggling of about 350 billion dollars from the public treasury over 17 years, which returns to the front the file of corruption, especially after the government announced the desire to activate the initiative to retrieve this money stolen from the budget of the Iraqi citizen.

These funds are investments and properties that the Iraqi government had bought during the time of the former Iraqi regime, when powerful forces seized them and began investing them in informal ways to achieve huge profits at a time when Iraq was preoccupied with its political and security problems.

Fictitious contracts and investments

This issue has opened the doors to the files of corruption that still exist in Iraq, despite the promises of successive governments to eliminate them.

And when Mustafa Al-Kazemi was appointed as the new head of government, he formed a committee to search and determine corruption funds, and according to the committee, it was found that about 500 billion dollars had been looted from 2003 to 2020 through fake contracts and investments by Iraqi state institutions, according to AFP.

Neighboring countries have turned Iraq into a hotbed of money laundering

The October 2019 demonstrations were not the first of their kind against corruption.

Indeed, Iraqis have already gone out in many cities, such as Basra and Baghdad, to denounce poor public services and corruption.

Despite the promises made by successive governments since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, which consisted of holding those involved in corruption accountable and recovering wasted public money, the covenants remained mere words.

Many Iraqis cannot provide for their families or find a job.

Despite the decisions issued by the Iraqi government in 2020, which included a series of assistance provided to ordinary citizens, such as facilitating access to residential lands, building new units, in addition to giving 175 thousand dinars (about $145) per month to the unemployed for a period of 3 months, but it did not stop The success of poverty and the decline in the standard of living suffered by the simple social classes.

In its report issued in 2020, Transparency International ranked Iraq 160th in the world in terms of corruption, along with other Arab countries.

In 2017, the organization called on these countries, including Iraq, to put in place anti-corruption mechanisms, including putting an end to political corruption and achieving international contractual obligations in the field of combating this phenomenon and ensuring the right to freedom of opinion, expression and accountability, as well as the independence of the judiciary to hold the corrupt accountable and recover stolen money.

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