The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

TRANSLATED: $10 Billion just disappeared from the Iraqi Central Bank

Translated tonight in our Daily Briefing (for a free trial email

On November 18, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its correspondent in Baghdad Mustafa al-Obeidi: “A new financial corruption scandal featuring the disappearance of $10 billion from the Iraqi Central Bank reserves earned wide attention among the Iraqis and media outlets. On Monday, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the launching of an urgent investigation into the disappearance of $10 billion from the Central Bank reserves during the previous government’s term, and a source close to the Cabinet said to Al-Quds al-Arabi that the prime minister summoned the acting governor of the Iraqi Central Bank, Ali al-Allak, to inquire about the disappearance of that amount under Nouri al-Maliki’s government, which led to the drop of the reserves to $58 billion…

“The source continued on condition of anonymity that Al-Abadi also expressed dissatisfaction towards the Central Bank policy, by which it was selling foreign currency to civil banks, which were in turn illicitly transferring billions of dollars that did not have any positive impact on the Iraqi economy, and solely served the civil banks’ mafias. In this context, former deputy for Basra Judge Wa’el Abdul Latif said: “The former government headed by Nouri al-Maliki withdrew $29 billion out of $89 billion in the Central Bank reserves within 8 years,” wondering in a televised interview followed by Al-Quds al-Arabi about the fate of these billions, considering that the oil prices were high at the time and the government was not facing a financial crisis such as the one currently faced by Al-Abadi’s government. Consequently, he called on the latter government to investigate this serious issue…

“For their part, knowledgeable sources indicated that the acting governor of the Central Bank, Ali al-Allak, was the office director of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who appointed him as the Central Bank governor a few days before he surrendered power to Haider al-Abadi. This move came in the context of a series of measures he adopted, by which he gave his loyalists all the sensitive positions in the government to ensure his control over the new one. The sources continued that Al-Allak did not have sufficient financial experience to manage the Central Bank, which led to the collapse of the Iraqi economy and the pillaging of its hard currency by the banks and money changers mafia. And the latter is led by influential political parties, using the Central Bank policy to transfer billions of dollars abroad through fraud and the exploitation of the weak measures adopted by the Bank.

“Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had revealed in several interviews and statements there were forces trying to thwart the reformatory measures he was trying to implement, to salvage Iraq’s economy, fight the corruption whales and overcome the security and economic challenges in the country.”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

November 19, 2015 at 2:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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