Half billion dinar fraud alleged

Integrity commission conducts six operations in Babil

BABIL — The Integrity Commission announced on Saturday its execution of six operations to combat corruption, including tampering, erasure, and distortion of documents, involving nearly half a billion dinars ($300,000) at the Babil Municipalities Directorate.

The commission’s Media and Government Communications Office stated that its investigative team from the Babil Investigation Office found irregularities in the Hilla Municipality Directorate’s handling of the “Craftsmen District” project, budgeted at 488 million dinars.

The project’s design process breached several regulations, lacked necessary approvals from sectoral departments, and has not been ratified or made public since 2015. Additionally, investigators discovered alterations and falsifications in the records of 106 properties.

The report further highlighted that the director of Babil Municipalities and the appraisal committee delayed a citizen’s land settlement transaction in Musayyib Municipality, ongoing since 2017.

Despite the transaction receiving all necessary approvals and undergoing three price reassessments — each increasing the valuation — the director of Hilla Municipality and the property officer illegally blocked the finalization of the registration for land intended for the families of Popular Mobilization Forces martyrs.

Moreover, an employee of Hilla Municipality was caught bypassing standard procedures in the registration of a land parcel, with a municipality surveyor submitting a false report classifying a commercial plot as residential and undervaluing it significantly below its actual worth of up to 800 million dinars.

The commission also uncovered financial misconduct in the property department, including the misallocation of another commercial land plot and the destruction of a registry page from the province’s Real Estate Registration Directorate.