In August Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi formed a new committee to investigate corruption. That led to an arrest warrant for Bana Abdul Hussein in September. He tried to flee the country with the aid of Shib al-Zaidi the secretary general of Kataib Imam Ali, a pro-Iran Hashd faction, but was arrested on September 17.
Hussein has been accused of assisting pro-Iran Hashd factions of creating fake employees. Up to 70,000 ghost Hashd fighters were reportedly registered with the Qi Cards under a scheme created by former deputy head of the Hashd Commission Abu Muhandis. This was part of a number of alleged deals Hussein made with Shiite politicians and Hashd leaders to maintain his business including with Ammar Hakim the head of the Hikma list, Zaidi mentioned above, and Nasser al-Shammari the head of Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba another Hashd group. Ghost employees have existed in the Iraqi government for years now as a standard form of corruption for higher officials to skim off their salaries and enrich themselves and their organizations. Baghdad has repeatedly said it is attempting to end the practice and yet it continues because those at the top wish it to. The Qi Card case was just the latest example.
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