Suspected financial misconduct

Anti-corruption body detains former Salah al-Din health director

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Integrity Commission has arrested the former Director General of the Salah al-Din Health Department and eight other employees after investigating allegedly fraudulent disbursements totaling more than 12 billion Iraqi dinars ($8m) in fake transactions.

The Commission stated, “After a thorough investigation and audit of the Salah ad Din Health Department’s accounts, we discovered the embezzlement of 12,014,877,230 Iraqi dinars through 62 fake transactions for tax guarantees and performance bonds.”

The Government Media and Communication Office described the scheme, saying, “The funds were paid to various cleaning companies, medical equipment suppliers, and scientific offices under the guise of supplying drugs and medical necessities. These funds were drawn from trust accounts at the Rafidain Bank in Tikrit and Balad without the knowledge of the companies’ owners. The payments were authorized with counterfeit tax letters falsely claimed to be from the Salah al-Din and Nineveh General Authority for Taxes.”

The office noted that some transactions paid multiple times to individuals not associated with the companies. It also reported, “Large sums were paid in 11 transactions to a cleaning company in 2016 and 2017, linked through its authorized manager to the terrorist group ISIS.”

An official record of the evidence was made and presented to the Salah ad Din Investigative Court specializing in integrity cases, which issued arrest warrants under Article 340 of the Penal Code for the former health department head, his deputy, and eight other employees. Three female employees were called in for questioning. Ten suspects have been arrested.