An expert reveals a “suspicious” American meeting with 35 Iraqi banks

  • Time: 11/19/2022 22:24:44
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An expert reveals a "suspicious" American meeting with 35 Iraqi banks

  {Economic: Al Furat News} The economic expert, Abdul Rahman Al-Sheikhly, revealed that the representative of the US embassy met with 35 Iraqi banks to warn their owners without the knowledge of the Central Bank of Iraq.

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Al-Sheikhly said; For the “Unannounced” program, broadcast by Al-Furat TV channel this evening, it says: “It is supposed to start fighting corruption in state institutions from the top of the pyramid or below, and big personalities involved in stealing the century.”
He added, “The US Federal Reserve addressed the Central Bank to stop the work of 14 private banks and audit them, and the representative of the US embassy met with 35 banks to warn their owners without the knowledge of the Central Bank of Iraq.”
Al-Sheikhly said, “The banks that the representative of the US embassy met with leaked money to internationally sanctioned countries,” noting that “sales at the currency auction have decreased remarkably in the past two days.”
He continued, “Iraq is not the only country that suffers from corruption, and the previous governments did not seize the opportunity to combat corruption, and the people stand by the Sudanese Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’a, in the steps to combat corruption.”
Al-Sheikhly indicated, “The state system has become a norm for transferring money illegally, and part of the money for goods does not go to buy them, but to smuggle them, and control is the responsibility of taxes and customs, not the central bank.”

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A solution to the Kurdish blockage is on the horizon

  • Time: 11/19/2022 19:31:55
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A solution to the Kurdish blockage is on the horizon

  {Politics: Al Furat News} The Kurdistan Democratic Party waved, on Saturday evening, a solution to the Kurdish impasse regarding joint political files.

The useful summary.. On important news, you can find it on Al-Furat News channel on Telegram.. To subscribe, click here

The leader of the party, Mahdi al-Faili, told Al-Furat News that: “There will be a visit by a high-ranking delegation from the Democrats to the National Union in the coming days to follow up on files and joint political discussions.” 
He added, “The President of the Kurdistan Region visited Sulaymaniyah today and shared condolences for the great matter that befell the Kurdish people, but despite his visit to the province, there was no talk of any political file with the Patriotic Union.” 
The dispute continues between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party over the last two ministries in the government of Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani. 
It is noteworthy that the Kurdistan Democratic Party believes that the two ministries are from its share in the government, while the Patriotic Union believes that its share is two ministries, not one ministry. 

From: Raghad Dahham

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It was transported by armored vehicles.. New details about the “theft of the century” and a British report alluding to the involvement of “Iraqi factions”

Reports and analyticsCentral Bank of IraqTheft of the century

 2022-11-19 13:18A-AA+

Shafaq News/ The British Financial Times newspaper published an article by Raya Chalabi, in which she talked about the outcome and developments of the theft of 2.5 billion dollars in Iraq, and investigations into the incident, which is the largest of its kind being announced in the country, while hinting at the involvement of “Iraqi factions” in the theft.

The author says that, according to the Ministry of Finance, armored vehicles carrying $2.5 billion belonging to the Iraqi Tax Authority disappeared between September 2021 and August 2022, a scandal that has sparked widespread controversy within the corridors of power since its discovery last month.

She adds that the trucks loaded with tax money left the state-owned Rafidain Bank, and took their usual route to disappear in broad daylight in what is known in Iraq as the “theft of the century.”

And he had revealed the merits of this scandal, days before the government of the new Prime Minister, Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani, took the constitutional oath, and pledged to give priority to fighting corruption that had spread in all aspects of the state and its institutions, as al-Sudani launched a public purge of the aides of former Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, according to the author. .

Sudanese responsibility

The author believes that Al-Sudani – who appears to be an independent politician and enjoys the support of some factions allegedly involved in the scandal – may face difficulty in holding senior members of the political establishment accountable, noting that “the responsibility for this scandal lies with those at the top of the pyramid of power, and many of them are implicated in it.” High-level players, including current and former ministers, civil servants and businessmen.

She stated that the “rampant corruption” in Iraq had led to the erosion of state institutions endorsed by the political class that had ruled the country since the overthrow of the late President Saddam Hussein in 2003. Instead of promoting power-sharing, the author adds, “The Iraqi sectarian system contributed to the consolidation of the quota system between the competing factions over Higher government positions and feeding nepotism within ministries.

Involvement of influential parties

Some sources claim – according to the article – that this latest fraudulent scheme involves many powerful and discordant political factions, especially those that unanimously agreed to appoint Al-Sudani, at a time when the new government is subject to the domination of political blocs linked to Iran known as the “coordinating framework”, which have fallen out with the loyalists. Rival Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to form a government.

In the course of her article, the author confirms that 5 people familiar with the investigation indicated that the recent scandal casts doubt on both sides who have struggled for power for a long time.

Theft detection

The scandal of embezzlement of $ 2.5 billion – in which the Tax Authority, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance are suspected of being involved – came to the public when the “Finance” revealed the result of an internal investigation that showed that from September 2021 to August 2022 about 250 people were organized. A check for 5 companies, and then the funds deposited in the escrow account intended to cover annual liabilities were withdrawn to accounts controlled by the Tax Authority at the state-run Rafidain Bank.

In a public statement after the embezzlement was revealed, former Finance Minister Ali Allawi – who resigned from the Al-Kazemi government in August 2022 – stated that he had informed Al-Kazemi’s office of the scheme in November 2021, and ordered payments from the accounts to be stopped without his approval, but the payments continued, According to Allawi, at a time when an advisor to the former prime minister said that Al-Kazemi’s office had not received “official correspondence” from Allawi regarding the embezzlement.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the companies concerned claimed to be working for larger companies, including several international oil companies. However, according to 4 people familiar with the investigation, 3 companies had been established only one month before the implementation of the embezzlement, according to the author.

The Ministry of Finance had revealed that 3.7 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.5 billion) had been withdrawn from the accounts of the Rafidain Bank, which is equivalent to 2.81% of the country’s budget for the year 2021, then some of these funds were used to buy dollars from the Central Bank of Iraq.

Suspicions

The author – speaking about the suspicions surrounding the embezzlement process – confirmed in her report that, according to 3 people familiar with the Iraqi banking sector, it is certain that the Central Bank and Rafidain Bank are aware of the process, as the slight increase in dollars that were purchased at the auction was higher. It is usual, as well as the amounts withdrawn were very large,

The same sources explained that “the amount of money transferred daily in Baghdad required armored trucks, and this indicates the involvement of the security services.”

She added that the judiciary issued a travel ban against 9 suspects, including 5 high-ranking civil servants in the Tax Authority, the Ministry of Finance, and company directors, and one of them, named Nour Zuhair Jassim, was arrested at the runway of Baghdad International Airport while trying to leave the capital on a private plane.

The article continued that – according to the same sources familiar with the investigation – Jassim is the main suspect, and that the judiciary is investigating his relationship with Al-Kazemi’s aides, the Sadrists, and the leaders of the coordination framework, including former Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the leader of the “Al-Fatah” coalition, Hadi Al-Amiri, and the judiciary summoned one of his advisors. Al-Kazemi for questioning.

Settling scores

While analysts suspect that the investigation is used as a tool to settle scores – according to the author – Renad Mansour, project manager for the Iraq Initiative at Chatham House, asserts, “The corrupt and powerful succeed by using their power to target the weaker groups. Anti-corruption mechanisms are often used as a tool for political liquidation.”

Analysts stress that in a system of corruption and vested interests, the investigation is likely to stall.

“It is expected that some heads will fly out of the banks, and after that the case will be quietly forgotten,” said resident fellow at the Century Center Sajjad Jiyad.

The article concluded that many of the competing political factions in Iraq that are suspected of being involved in this embezzlement, which was described as “great”, have shown their willingness to ally with each other to achieve financial gain, which Mansour comments on, “This confirms that corruption is rooted in the Iraqi political system.”

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Parliament begins reading a report and discussing the draft law on partnership between the public and private sectors

political| 01:40 – 11/19/2022

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Baghdad – Mawazine News
, the House of Representatives began, on Saturday, reading the draft law on partnership between the public and private sectors.

And the media department of the House of Representatives stated in a brief statement, that “Parliament began reading a report and discussing the draft law on partnership between the public and private sectors.” Ended 29/N33

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