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$83 million missing at Iraqi ministry: anti-corruption body

$83 million missing at Iraq's industry ministry: anti-corruption commission
2 min read
23 May, 2023
A government commission has found millions of dollars have gone missing from a company at one of Iraq's ministries.
Iraq has long suffered from rampant corruption [Getty]

Tens of millions of dollars have gone missing from a company at an Iraqi ministry, a governmental anti-corruption body said on Monday evening.

The Iraqi Commission of Integrity announced the disappearance of 120 billion dinars - or nearly $83 million - from the revenues of a company at the Ministry of Industry and Minerals in the Babil governorate.

The commission’s investigation department said in a statement that the missing funds were from revenues made in the period between September 2017 and September 2022.

"Most of the documents were hidden by the employees... The company's information centre database, which contains numbers and statistics for the final accounts for all those years, was checked," the commission said.

A probe has been opened to investigate the missing revenues.

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The Commission of Integrity was formed later last year to investigate corruption cases in the country, plagued by decades of political and economic instability.

Iraq ranked 157 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index in 2022.

In 2021, the commission said there were at least 11,605 officials, including 54 ministers, "involved in corruption."

In the same year, the Iraqi government said at least $150 billion made from corruption deals had been transferred abroad between 2003 – when the US led an invasion of Iraq - and 2020.

Critics have said promises made by the government to clamp down on fraud and embezzlement, money laundering, the squandering of public finances and other forms of corruption have been empty words with no real action being taken.

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