Iraq hunts $80 million of its stolen money


Shafaq News/ Iraq recovers millions of dollars of stolen money smuggled outside the country.

Iraqi prime minister's media office announced that the relevant authorities returned more than 80 million dollars to the state treasury.

Last month, the Iraqi Parliamentary Integrity Committee, the country's official anti-corruption body, revealed new details about the "theft of the century" in which trillions of dinars were stolen from Iraq's tax authority.

Committee member Ahmed Al-Rubaie told Shafaq News agency that the Integrity Committee had formed an investigation committee to follow up on these thefts and has called many officials for investigation.

"The report of the Ministry of Finance concluded that almost 3.7 trillion dinars (about $2.5bn) had been stolen from the Iraqi General Commission of Taxes (IGCT) within a year, but the preliminary information says that the stolen amount is more than five billion dollars," Al-Rubaie said.

The scandal, uncovered by the former acting finance minister last year, has caused a political storm in corruption-plagued Iraq.

In the embezzlement, an amount of 3.7 trillion Iraqi dinars was fraudulently paid to five companies by the General Commission of Taxes, an office within the Ministry of Finance.

As a result, the head of Iraq's Commission of Integrity submitted his resignation.

Details of the thefts came to light following the resignation in August of the finance minister, Ali Allawi, in protest at what he described as endemic corruption in public finances.

Last December, Iraq's Prime Minister, Mohammed S. al-Sudani, announced that more than 300 billion Iraqi Dinars had been recovered from the infamous tax fraud dubbed "the theft of the century."

It is worth noting that Iraq is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It ranked 157th out of 180 nations on Transparency International's 2021 corruption index.

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