POSTED ON BY SOTALIRAQ
Baghdad / Tamim Al-Hassan
The exchange rate of the dollar has risen again after a limited decline, while the fate of those involved in what is known as the “theft of the century” is still unknown.
The US intervention in preventing currency smuggling was exposed by dozens of banks in Iraq that were described as “shops” for currency smuggling.
On the other hand, operations to circumvent the new conditions to maintain the stability of the dollar price are still going on, the latest of which is the forgery of “travel tickets”!
In conjunction with these events, the issue of theft of tax secretaries interacts after the government announced the recovery of another small batch of money equal to 1% of the remaining amount.
According to information, the theft case may end with only one accused being held accountable, and it is likely that his trial will take place after a few days, in return for covering up for the rest of the parties.
In addition, the security forces cut off yesterday evening, Al-Rashid Street in central Baghdad, due to demonstrations against the Central Bank, in protest against the continued high price of the dollar.
The exchange rate of the dollar had fallen last week to the threshold of 1,500 dinars after the government announced a number of measures to control the foreign currency, but with the beginning of this week it returned to nearly 1,600.
And about that crisis, an informed political source says in an interview with (Al-Mada) that “the rise of the dollar continues because private banks have not yet adapted to the American conditions.”
Al-Mada had revealed, earlier, direct American intervention in the process of controlling currency smuggling, which was then supported by the statements of Finance Minister Taif Sami.
And the source, who asked not to be named, said, “The American conditions have exposed more than 60 private banks so far because they do not have a real banking system.”
The source described those banks as “shops that forge import bills and smuggle foreign currency.”
Only about 20 private banks out of more than 80 banks entered the new system established by the US Federal Bank within the Central Bank.
The source revealed that “some of the banks that entered the new platform continued the process of forging invoices and were exposed.”
On the other hand, the source confirmed the existence of a new circumvention of these procedures, represented by the fact that “some banks provide fake travel tickets in cooperation with travel companies for the purpose of obtaining the dollar, which is given at the original price from the Central Bank, which is 1475 dinars for one dollar.”
Al-Mada viewed a document issued by the Tourism Authority addressed to travel agencies asking them to “commit not to issue incorrect or cancelable travel tickets after the non-traveling citizen receives the amount allocated to the traveler for the purpose of trading in hard currency (dollars).”
The tourism book warned companies that do not comply with these conditions of exposure to “immediate legal accountability.”
According to previous information received by Al-Mada, the volume of hard currency smuggled every week ranges from 100 to 250 million dollars, at least half of which goes to Tehran and the rest goes to 3 neighboring countries.
In the meantime, the former member of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee, Rahim al-Darraji, revealed that the currency had escaped just days after it entered Iraq.
Al-Darraji said in an interview with (Al-Mada) that “when the money from selling oil is converted into dollars, the currency has serial numbers, and the US Federal Bank discovers after two or three days that the currency has moved to another country.”
Al-Darraji, who is the head of the Kafa movement, said that “banking companies manipulate the exchange rate despite the existence of a rate from the Central Bank,” noting that “there is a special section in the National Security Agency, which is (economic security) concerned with monitoring these companies, and it must move to close the violating offices.”
The Central Bank had decided to expand the number of bank outlets for selling foreign currency to 20 banks.
And a statement by the bank stated last Monday, “It was decided to expand the number of bank outlets for selling foreign currency from 10 banks to 20 banks.”
He added, “The Central Bank also decided to increase the amounts allocated to these banks weekly to meet the largest possible number of those covered by the purchase of foreign currency, in accordance with the instructions and controls issued by the bank.”
In addition, the controversy has returned again over the issue of stealing the century, after the integrity announced the recovery of 4 billion dinars.
The head of the commission, Haider Hanoun, refused in a press conference held the day before yesterday to mention the name of the person who returned the money, but the leaks indicated that he was an advisor to former Prime Minister Haitham al-Jubouri.
According to information reached by (Al-Mada), “The wife of Haitham al-Jubouri, who has been imprisoned for a month, returned the money after selling a house in the Qadisiyah area, west of Baghdad.”
According to the information, “Al-Jubouri will be tried next week in place of all those accused of theft because the incident is linked to parties and factions.”
In this regard, the deputy close to the coordination framework, Mustafa Sanad, said in a post on Telegram that “the accused Haitham al-Jubouri asked to be released on bail and pledged to recover the inflated amounts, following the example of the model Nour Zuhair.”
Al-Jubouri, the former head of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, was arrested at the end of last year, on the grounds of “theft of the century” and his wealth ballooning to 16 billion dinars.
More than two weeks ago, the government announced the recovery of the second batch of Nour Zuhair, the most prominent of those involved in the theft, bringing the total amount recovered to 300 billion dinars out of about 4 trillion dinars.
In the last conference held by the Chairman of the Integrity Committee, he said, “The funds recovered today amounted to 4 billion Iraqi dinars, which is part of a total of more than 17 billion.”
The head of the Integrity Commission stated that “13 billion dinars and some millions are still owed by the accused, stressing that work is being done to recover them,” adding, “The trial of the accused will take place on January 12,” but he refused to reveal his name.
Hanoun noted that “Iraq will recover, during the next two days, 80 million dollars from the United States of America, smuggled since the time of the former regime.”