Before leaving on a private plane, a businessman was arrested in a $ 2.5 billion theft case

Iraqi security forces arrested businessman accused of involvement in $ 2.5 billion “theft” case in tax funds while trying to leave Iraq, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.

The case, which appeared to the media in mid-October, it sparked widespread controversy in oil-rich Iraq, but suffers from chronic corruption. The statement released by Interior Minister Othman Al-Ghanimi states that “Noor Zuhair Jassim was arrested at Baghdad International Airport while he was trying to leave the country on a private plane”. For his part, the Governmental Integrity Commission said in a statement on Monday that the suspect is the “managing director of (Al-Mabdioon) Oil Services Company Limited”, and is “one of the accused in the case of the amounts of tax deposits deposited in the branches of the Rafidain Bank.”

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An official letter issued by the Revenue Agency revealed that between September 2021 and August 2022, 2.5 billion dollars were withdrawn from the Rafidain Governmental Bank, through 247 financial instruments, issued to 5 companies, which paid them directly in cash. The judiciary had already heard the statements of some officials of the Revenue Agency in merit, and had also issued arrest warrants against company owners accused of withdrawing funds. Iraq ranks 157th (out of 180) in the “Perceptions of Corruption “by Transparency International. And often, if corruption occurs, trials target officials in secondary positions. “Rampant corruption is one of the main ones cause of dysfunctions in Iraq, “said the UN envoy in Iraq, Jenin Plaschaert, in early October, adding: “Frankly, no leader can claim to be protected.”