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Iraqi News Highlights Early Thursday Afternoon 8-17-23

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Iraq..The Total Looted Funds Are Estimated At $450 Billion

Reports  |  08/17/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News  The Iraqi government is working to strengthen cooperation with international organizations concerned with combating corruption, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Police (Interpol) and a number of countries in order to develop Iraq’s capabilities and institutions concerned with eliminating corruption, according to a report by the Turkish Anadolu Agency.  Iraq is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world, in the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index issued by Transparency International, as it ranked seventh in the Arab world and 157th globally out of 180 countries on the organization’s list.

Iraq maintained that rank for several consecutive years.

Separate figures indicate that the total looted funds exceed $300 billion, while last year’s media reported that the total figure is $360 billion, while parliamentarians estimate it at $450 billion.

And last year, the Iraqi Tax Authority accused 5 private companies of stealing more than 2.5 billion dollars from the authority’s funds, in coordination with a number of employees in the Ministry of Finance, which makes it classified as the largest theft in world history, and the stolen funds were deducted by companies and individuals who have projects with the government ,

or by importing goods, by paying them 10% of the total amount, which will be recovered after the completion of the project.

Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani placed the fight against corruption at the top of the priorities of his government program, and immediately after assuming office in October of last year, he began to take steps towards bringing the corrupt to justice.

Not only that, but he tried to recover the stolen money, in addition to coordinating with some countries to extradite the wanted persons through the International Police (Interpol).

And with the birth of any new government, the new prime minister takes steps and measures to form a body or a supreme committee to combat corruption that ravages state institutions, including the security, military, judicial and oversight institutions.

However, the level of anti-corruption momentum soon declines after weeks or months, and the remedies are limited to a narrow range that does not affect the heads of corruption, including senior political and official officials.

The Supreme Commission for Combating Corruption

In mid-November, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the formation of the “High Commission for Combating Corruption.”

In the commission’s formation statement, the office announced that it aims to “combat corruption in accordance with the ministerial curriculum (the government program) and with unconventional mechanisms that bypass previous negatives,” in order to “accelerate the confrontation of major corruption files and recover those wanted in corruption cases and abused public funds.”

The Sudanese government faces a number of challenges in its confrontation with the corrupt.

Some influential forces, whether armed or political parties, exploit their influence in state institutions through officials in high positions for more financial gains.

In addition, the influence of the influential forces operating outside the framework of the official security institutions contributed in some way to the expansion and spread of corruption, while acknowledging the difficulty of holding the senior corrupt accountable, or controlling their money and properties or ways to obtain them.

Recently, The Iraqi Government Issued International Arrest Warrants

that included a number of former officials residing outside Iraq in the framework of what is known as the “theft of the century”, which exceeded $2.5 billion, stolen from “tax secretariats” with illegal cash withdrawals during the years 2021 and 2022.

The arrest warrants target the director of the office of the former Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, the former head of the intelligence service, Raed Jouhi, the private secretary of Al-Kazemi, Ahmed Najati, the former Minister of Finance, Ali Allawi, and the former media advisor to Al-Kazemi, Mashreq Abbas.

The head of the Federal Integrity Commission, Judge Haider Hanoun, said that all those wanted in the “theft of the century” are no less than 100 billion Iraqi dinars ($77 million) in acquisition

. Accused”, most notably an Iraqi businessman named “Nour Zuhair”, who returned to the state treasury about $ 292 million of stolen money since his release on bail last November. And at the beginning of this month, the Iraqi authorities

announced the recovery of two government officials convicted of financial corruption cases who fled to the Sultanate of Oman.

The Federal Integrity Commission, a semi-independent body subject to the oversight of the House of Representatives and charged with combating corruption, said that it was able to recover two government officials convicted of financial corruption cases who fled to the Sultanate of Oman.

It indicated that their arrest was carried out in cooperation with the Omani authorities and the international police (Interpol).

The head of the Integrity Commission, Judge Haider Hanoun, announced a move to organize “red signals” from “Interpol” against the wanted persons, and Hanoun said that the judiciary will also request the issuance of red signals to the private secretary and political advisor to former Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi.

The government has taken some measures to curb corruption, including isolating some of those responsible for corruption and bringing them to justice as part of a campaign that began in the governorates of Nineveh, Basra, Anbar and other governorates.

This included a number of heads of departments concerned with real estate, taxes, and others, but the campaign “delayed” for unknown reasons, but the government still declares that it is committed to combating corruption and determined to eliminate it. Ended 29 / H

The Price Of The Dollar Rose Against The Dinar On The Baghdad Stock Exchange

Economy  Thursday, August 17, 2023 Baghdad / National News Center  Today, Thursday, the exchange rates of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar witnessed an increase in the local markets.

As “the selling prices were recorded at 154,250 dinars per 100 dollars, while the purchase prices were recorded at 152,250 dinars per 100 dollars.”

The Iraqi Stock Exchange Traded 7 Billion Dinars During The Current Week

Market  Economy News-Baghdad  The Iraq Stock Exchange announced, on Thursday, the circulation of more than 9 billion shares, with a value of 7 billion dinars, during the third week of the current month of August.

The market said, in a report seen by “Al-Iqtisad News”, that “the Iraqi market for securities, during the third week of the month of August / 2023, organized five trading sessions from Sunday, corresponding to 08/13/2023, to Thursday, corresponding to 08/17/2023,” pointing out “During the week, (5342) buying and selling contracts were executed on the shares of companies listed on the market.”

He added, “The number of shares traded during this week amounted to more than (9) billion shares, and the value of shares traded this week amounted to more than (7) billion dinars.”

And that “the trading index in the market for the first session of the week closed at (782.21) points, while the index closed at the end of the week at (810.43) points, achieving an increase of (3.48%) from its closing at the beginning of the session.”

Views 34  Added 08/17/2023

33 Billion Dollars Iraq’s Possession Of US Bonds In June

Economy  Thursday, August 17, 2023 Follow-up / National News Center  Today, Thursday, the US Treasury Department announced that Iraq’s holdings of bonds have risen to about $33 billion, after a series of declines that extended for four months in a row.

And the treasury stated in the latest table, that “Iraq’s possession of US Treasury bonds for the month of June of 2023 increased by 300 million dollars to reach 33 billion dollars, after it was 32.7 billion dollars during the previous month,” indicating that “these bonds increased by 3.12%.” For the same period in 2022, when Iraq’s possession of bonds amounted to 32 billion dollars.

In the Arab world, Saudi Arabia comes at the forefront of the countries with the most possession, amounting to 108.1 billion dollars, and the UAE comes second with 65.2 billion dollars, then Kuwait comes third with 40.6 billion dollars, then Iraq fourth and Oman fifth with 7.061 billion dollars.

She pointed out that “the most holders of US bonds are Japan with 1.105 trillion dollars, followed by China with 835.4 billion dollars, followed by the United Kingdom with 672.3 billion dollars, and then comes Belgium with 332.4 billion dollars.”

US Treasury bonds in June amounted to about $7.563 trillion, an increase of 1.97 percent from its level in the same month last year of $7.417 billion, with a monthly growth of about 0.56 percent from $7.521 trillion in May 2023.

Central Bank Governor: Iraq’s Gold Reserves Amount To 132 Tons

Economy | 10:16 – 08/17/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News  Central Bank Governor Ali Al-Alaq announced that Iraq’s gold reserves amount to 132 tons.

Al-Alaq said: “There is a future for gold and that Iraq possesses 132 tons,” pointing out that “there is a tendency to obtain dollars at airports through the outlets of discreet companies.”

And he explained that “the talk about the entry of 14 foreign banks into Iraq is incorrect,” noting that “the banks that have correspondent banks have a sound, official, and easy status with foreign remittances.”

He pointed out that “the Central Bank is asking the government for 46 trillion dinars, and that 30 of them are in Al-Kazemi’s government.”

Al-Sudani’s Advisor Reviews The Path Of Transition To Balancing Programs

Economy | 08/17/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Financial Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, reviewed today, Thursday, the path of transforming federal public finance into budget programs.

Saleh said to the official agency, followed by Mawazine News, that “there is a permanent supreme committee that includes senior financial experts and accountants in the country. And all the different departments from time to time carry out transformation procedures.

And he indicated, “The last of these procedures was the directive to subject special programs in the federal budget for three years to mechanisms for balancing programs and performance, as well as grouping investment projects according to their patterns to be within the program and performance budget as well, and according to the type of projects and their sectoral associations, such as health, agricultural, industrial, and others.”

Saleh added, “Work is currently taking place on a regular basis for the gradual shift from balancing items to balancing programs due to the importance of preparing qualified human capabilities that will undertake the tasks of transformation and managing budgets on modern bases in their relevant ministries and departments, especially that work is underway in the field of developing the technical and knowledge infrastructure.”

He explained, “In the forefront of that is the qualification of accountants, who are costly in sufficient numbers in all spending units and other rules of accounting, auditing, control and evaluation, which require training and qualification programs for workers in the financial field in ministries at different levels and stages, as the task of qualifying government cadres today is undertaken by the financial and accounting center in the Ministry.” Finance within the scope of technical cooperation with the United Nations Development Program.

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