Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Latest Corruption Scandal In Iraq $600 Million Stolen Using Fake Foreign Travel


Al Aalem reported that tens of thousands of people were falsely registered as traveling outside of Iraq and gained access to hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

An investigation by the Financial Supervision Bureau discovered that more than 151,000 people were registered as travelers outside of Iraq. They were able to purchase $600 million in US dollars. However none of them went anywhere. Instead, the dollars were sold on the black market for a profit. This took place from January to July 2023.

 

The Central Bank of Iraq provides US currency to businesses and travelers leaving the country. The ruling parties, foreign countries and criminal gangs have consistently abused the system to make huge profits.

 

In January 2024 for instance, there was a story in Al Rafidain that political parties were recruiting foreigners to buy dollars to help smuggle them out of Iraq. The money was likely deposited in foreign bank accounts owned by the elite.

 

This is just the latest example that no matter what kind of restrictions the Central Bank might put on the distribution of dollars there will always be loopholes that will be exploited. Most importantly the banks and political system are run by a corrupt oligarchy that can manipulate the system for their own profit. The United States has consistently tried to halt these abuses but to no avail. That has led dollars to not only flow into the hands of politicians but the Islamic State, countries like Syria and Iran as a way to get around international sanctions, and criminal organizations.

 

SOURCES

 

Al Aalem, “According to the documents, more than 600 million dollars were embezzled under the name of selling currency to travelers,” 4/21/24

 

Al Rafidain, “Economic Experts: Influential Parties Recruit Foreign Workers To Smuggle Currency,” 1/25/24

 

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