When the issue of corruption is raised in Iraq, we mean here primarily financial and administrative corruption, which dates back to more than a decade ago , Which is the beginning of the US occupation of Iraq in 2003, where the trip of Iraq was started with corruption, looting and theft that did not keep anything from its bounty and wealth and also the outcome of corruption was the spread of terrorism in Iraq that formed a threat to the region and the world.
Only in Iraq and there is none else, there are only two teams, the first is a great mass of the Iraqi people who curse of corruption and suffers under its impact, and a second team embraces corruption and defend and fight for it for personal interests.
The file of corruption in Iraq did not stop to the level of popular discontent but exceeded until it becomes a matter of irony to the whole world after the Iraqi court sentenced to one year in prison for a boy at the age of 12 years for the theft of several boxes of tissue of paper from the shop for sale, while the Iraqi judiciary’s inability to the trial of those who stole billions of dollars and destroyed the country that has the second largest oil reserves in the world.
In a previous article we mentioned that the biggest files of corruption and theft of public money, and cover up to the corrupt took place during the government of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, noting that the studies have estimated of what was lost in his reign could be up to a trillion dollars, through secret deals, smuggling money abroad, which confirmed by authoritative international reports.
A recent report released from the International Center for Development Studies, based in London revealed the disappearance of the $ 120 billion from the surplus of Iraqi financial budgets during the term of the prime minister Nuri al-Maliki .
The report pointed out that during the period between 2006 – 2014 , Iraq has made a large financial surpluses that could contribute to the reconstruction and turning it into a modern state, in terms of total budgets in that period amounted to $ 700 billion mostly went into the pockets of the corrupt.
Maliki’s period as a prime minister, has seen a surge in oil prices to reach record levels which had recorded more than US $ 115 a barrel, and the Iraqi treasury achieved huge gains from oil revenues which were disappeared for the benefit of the Maliki government and its influential figures, equivalent to oil revenues, which make up 95% of government revenues and the poverty, unemployment and terrorism were spread widely in all parts of Iraq, where the subsequent annual budgets suffered of huge deficits exhausted the pocket of citizen, that he has no right even for the inquiry , and we can say that the Maliki government is deliberately fabricating crises and spread of terrorism to hide corruption and the theft of billions from the eyes of observers and the Iraqi people, who was in the worst living conditions .
The report adds that the Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi received from his predecessor, al-Maliki a treasury almost empty where there is no more than 700 million dollars, making Iraq in an extremely difficult financial situation, especially with the drop in oil prices and the decline in revenues and the rising cost of the war on Daesh.
The decline in central bank reserves
The report indicated to the decline of Iraqi Central Bank reserves also at a time when it should be increased. At a time when budgets of Iraq rose from 100.5 billion dollars in 2012 to 145.5 billion dollars in 2014, the central bank’s reserves fell from $ 88 billion to $ 67 billion.
This decline continued until reached this year 2016 to $ 43 billion, a decline of up to 45 billion dollars and the rate of decline is equivalent to $ 9 billion a year, mostly go to buy unproductive items.
The report pointed out that during January and February of 2016 Iraq’s financial revenues totaled 3.269 billion dollars, while the central bank sold 5.821 billion dollars to import goods, where it was to cover the difference of 2.552 billion dollars from the reserve.
A document on the House of Representatives shows the size of revenues (January, February) 2016
As the central bank transformed during the period from 2012 -2015 $ 6.5 billion under the trading checks ,and later on it was shown that it comes from a fictitious company and to the calculation of the companies that were shown later on to be fake as well.
the statement of central bank pointed out last year, after the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament published official documents confirming the regular smuggling of billions of dollars, through the auction of foreign currency during the years of 2006-2014, when Nuri al-Maliki was prime minister.
The report of International Center for Studies warned from the process of continued wastage in central bank reserves, especially as oil prices remain at low levels and the increasing burden on the state because it means the rise of the inflation of the budget deficit to the levels that may exceed what is declared and which could arrive in the next year to 32%.
Reports indicate that since the establishment of the Central Bank auction to sell the dollar to banks and banking corporations in 2004, central bank sales amounted to more than $ 312 billion since its inception, valued at 1180 dinars to the dollar, it has transformed 80% of these funds out of Iraq, while 20 percent have entered into the market.
In spite of attempts by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of curbing corruption in Iraq, but the beneficiaries of this phenomenon are trying to disrupt it, and the impact on the work of independent bodies through the influence of some parties or militias.
The report called for Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to accelerate the detection of senior corrupt before starting the next election.
the International Center for Studies noted that the Iraq dossier has considerable international attention, especially since corruption has caused the spread of terrorism in Iraq which formed a threat to the region and the world.
The report indicated that the success of al-Abadi in the fight against corruption is no less important than the liberation of Mosul and it would be honored by popular and international support that enable him to carry out his programs in the reconstruction and services, and building state institutions.
We refer here to the investigative inquiry conducted, by “Fairfax Media” and “Havengtin Post” and was published in April 2016, revealed about “thousands of documents” from the site of the company “Aunanwil” owned by an Iranian family, based in the Principality of Monaco that the champions of these operations senior officials and ministers in the reign the government of Nouri al-Maliki.
It is scheduled to start the investigation of the financial files of corruption based on the memorandum of understanding signed by the Iraqi government with the United Nations. UN investigators will work, to help the Iraqi government to reveal the fate of the $ 361 billion which is missing from the budgets of Iraq between 2004 m – 2014.
The situation in Iraq is terrifying and the Iraqi government is trying to cope with the current financial paralysis through the use of external and domestic borrowing , but the question arises Is the Iraqi government will be able to calling the corrupt to account ? Will it be able to cope with any popular anger as a result of its inability to fight corruption?
Talk about corruption in Iraq is unlike any country in the world, and no mind can imagine it ,that a bunch of thieves who wear uniforms to work to drain the state treasury of all its assets, to bring Iraq back to centuries of poverty, ignorance and unemployment, while the followers of the enemies of Iraq are insisting to steal its money and bounty and smuggled it abroad to the service of regional agendas that do not want good for Iraq and its people, but all evil, however, the al-Maliki government since the (2006-2014) will remain the worst in the ancient and contemporary history of Iraq , and the story will be written about government looted the entire country and left its people and threw them into the arms of their enemies , Iraq is today in the forefront of countries that pursue to get the international loans, grants and perhaps to save what can be saved.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies