By John Lee.

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity has revealed that it has concluded cases resulting in fines of more than 245 billion dinars ($206 million) on private banks, due to violations relating to customs licences and foreign currency auction instructions for 2012.

The CoI mentioned that one of these corruption cases related to a private bank smuggling foreign currency abroad by process of purchasing foreign currency to companies’ interests under the pretext of importing goods. The Office noted that upon investigation, it was found that the companies did not import goods to Iraq since 2004.

The Office clarified that the issues included some governmental and private banks when they committed fraud and entered the auction of selling currency in the names of companies and private account holders without their knowledge, and submitted invoices and forged import manifests. They also violated the instructions of the Central Bank when entering the auction pursuant to provisions of article (3) of money laundering law no. (93/2004).

(Source: Commission of Integrity)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity has revealed that it has concluded cases resulting in fines of more than 245 billion dinars ($206 million) on private banks, due to violations relating to customs licences and foreign currency auction instructions for 2012.

The CoI mentioned that one of these corruption cases related to a private bank smuggling foreign currency abroad by process of purchasing foreign currency to companies’ interests under the pretext of importing goods. The Office noted that upon investigation, it was found that the companies did not import goods to Iraq since 2004.

The Office clarified that the issues included some governmental and private banks when they committed fraud and entered the auction of selling currency in the names of companies and private account holders without their knowledge, and submitted invoices and forged import manifests. They also violated the instructions of the Central Bank when entering the auction pursuant to provisions of article (3) of money laundering law no. (93/2004).

(Source: Commission of Integrity)

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity (COI) announced today that it has summoned a third minister on charges of corruption and mismanagement.

The COI said in a statement that the court investigating integrity cases in Kirkuk Governorate issued a summons against the former minister of higher education and scientific research, who it did not name.

Since 2003, nine ministers have managed Iraq’s higher education portfolio: Ziad Al-Aswad, Tahir Albakaa, Sami Al-Mudhaffar, Abd Dhiyab Al-Ajili, Ali Al-Adeeb, Hussain Al-Shahristani, Abdul Razzaq Al-Issa, Jamal Al-Adil, and current minister Qusay Al-Suhail.

They have occupied the ministry during the transitional period, then in two interim governments headed by Ayad Allawi and Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, then through two successive terms headed Nouri Al-Maliki followed by Haider Al-Abadi, and then the current government headed by Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

On Tuesday, the COI summoned the current Minister of Culture Abdul Amir Mayah Madi against the backdrop of exploitation of prohibited places in the Euphrates River, while yesterday it called former Minister of Communications Hassan Kazem Al-Rashid in for questioning on charges of administrative corruption.

Iraq came 13th among the world’s most corrupt countries, a report by Transparency International revealed earlier this year, as the country struggles to recover on both the security, political and economic levels after a strenuous war against  Daesh.

Combating corruption is at the top of the demands being made by protesters who have taken to the streets for over a month.

(Sources: Middle East Monitor, Commission of Integrity)

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity yesterday announced that it had returned $135 million of misappropriated funds to the oil ministry, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The commission said that the company for the distribution of oil products misappropriated funds through contracts with two oil investment companies.

Iraq is among the world’s most corrupt states according to Transparency International’s corruption index.

The commission revealed in 2018 that it had issued more than 2,000 arrest warrants in 2017 related to corruption in the country.

It said that 290 arrested warrants were issued against state officials including ministers.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

Iraq’s Commission of Integrity yesterday announced that it had returned $135 million of misappropriated funds to the oil ministry, the Anadolu Agency reported.

The commission said that the company for the distribution of oil products misappropriated funds through contracts with two oil investment companies.

Iraq is among the world’s most corrupt states according to Transparency International’s corruption index.

The commission revealed in 2018 that it had issued more than 2,000 arrest warrants in 2017 related to corruption in the country.

It said that 290 arrested warrants were issued against state officials including ministers.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

Iraqi Defence Minister Najah Al-Shammari has issued an order on Thursday to refer several officers and commanders to military courts on corruption charges.

The Ministry of Defence did not name the officers or specify their ranks.

Last year, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity uncovered more than 2,000 warrants for corruption in the country in 2017, issued against 290 government officials, including ministers.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

By John Lee.

A former Minister for Trade and two former State Directors of the Ministry have been sentenced in absentia to seven years in prison for corruption.

A statement from Iraq’s Commission of Integrity said the three committed offenses in two contracts between the State Company for Trading Grain and a company supplying basmati rice, with “damage to public money in the two contracts” of $14.3 million.

Middle East Online names the former minister as Malas Abdulkarim al-Kasnazani [Mlas Mohammed Al-Kasanzan] (pictured), who was dismissed from Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet in 2015.

(Sources: Commission of Integrity, Middle East Online)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government has retaken ownership of a property in Baghdad, after it said it was unlawfully sold to “the wife of a senior official in the previous [Abadi] government“.

The Commission of Integrity said in a statement that “the property was sold by the official to his wife in violation to the legal controls stipulated in the Law of Sale and Rent of State Properties No. 32 of 1986, and without conducting a public bid.

The official was not publicly identified.

(Source: Commission of Integrity)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has asked Iraq’s Integrity Commission to investigate the delays and stoppages in some infrastructure projects in Basra and other southern provinces.

He said some of these delays were the result of corruption, while other we because of what he described as a dereliction of duty and a failure of leadership.

He added that they will also look at the administration of border crossings to ensure that they are outside the influence of any political group.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

UNDP support to the Commission of Integrity to fight corruption

A technical study visit is currently being organized in Korea by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) for a high-ranking delegation from the Iraqi Integrity commission, to benefit from the Korea’s innovative, well tested-and-proven policy tools to compact corruption.

This activity is part of a larger UNDP led programme to support the Iraqi government in its efforts to fight corruption, that is framed by the MoU signed between UNDP and the Iraqi government in 2016.

This visit also comes under the framework of the recently signed MoU between the Iraqi Integrity commission CoI and Korea Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC). The aim of the visit is to equip the Iraqi Commission of Integrity with the technical knowledge and insight on the implementation of Korea’s policy tools especially the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA), implemented in Korea since 2002 for effective monitoring and implementation of anti-corruption measures in public institutions.

The AIA will be customized to the Iraqi context to implement a National Corruption Index.

The inaugural session was chaired by the Standing Commissioner of the ACRC Mr. Hyeon Kim, who said:

“Iraq is the first Arab State who signed an MoU with Korea, and also the first country from the Arab region who would like to benefit from the Korea’s experience and the innovative policies and tools that have been in place and tremendously, helped in improving the corruption prevention measures in the public sector.”

The head of Iraqi Delegation expressed the eagerness to actualize the MoU signed between the CoI and ACRC in last April. This study visit is the kick off of a long-term collaboration and knowledge sharing between the two entities and a significant milestone towards building an effective partnership that is supported by joint efforts by the UNDP Iraq and the Seoul Centre to reinforce the Iraqi government’s efforts in fighting corruption.

(Source: UNDP)