In Rudaw 

Iraq anti-corruption body recovers a billion dollars in 2020: report

Iraq’s Integrity Commission retrieved more than a trillion Iraqi dinars (approximately one billion USD) in 2020, according to an annual report issued by the commission on Wednesday.

The commission said it has worked on more than 13,000 cases in 2020, retrieving 702 billion Iraqi dinars (approx. $482 million), as well as $481 million.

Sixty-three senior officials, all ministers and those of the same rank, have since been accused of corruption, but only four have been convicted, the report added.

The commission said it worked  to recover the “stolen money” from abroad and hold accountable those responsible for the theft and smuggling, calling for international aid in tackling the issue.

“We seek assistance within the international anti-corruption convention or other professional companies to return the looted money and bring the convicted to the justice,” Alaa Jawad Hamid, the head of the commission, told state media on Wednesday.

Since 2012, more than a billion dollars were recovered from abroad, in addition to seizing fourteen properties and five shares in different companies, the report added.

“Some countries refuse to hand over the looted funds to Iraq,” Alia Nsaif , a member of the Iraqi parliament’s integrity committee told state media,  also stressing the need to legislate laws and agreements to recover the funds.

Worsening corruption in Iraq was emphasised by the chief of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) in August.

“Corruption remains endemic, and its economic cost untold as it continues to steal desperately needed resources from the everyday Iraqi, eroding investor confidence,” UNAMI chief Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said in her virtual address to the UN Security Council.

Iraq is  one of the top 20 most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International.

Some $450 billion in public funds have vanished into the pockets of shady politicians and businessmen since the 2003 US-led invasion, a study by parliament found. Source: Rudaw