Iraq has arrested a senior army officer who allegedly stole the salaries of peers and fled to Turkey, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reports, citing the Iraqi military.
Spokesperson for the Iraqi Commander-in-Chief Yehia Rasool announced on Twitter the arrest of Colonel Khaled Al-Mafraji, the media said.
Rasool also indicated that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi was following the process. Turkey according to the army spokesperson cooperated in Al-Mafraji’s arrest.
Iraq has launched a war on financial and administrative corruption. Speaking late May in a televised speech, President Barham Salih revealed he had introduced a bill in the parliament to recuperate nearly $150 billion he believes have been smuggled out of the country since 2003.
“These illegal funds were enough to put the country in a better place,” he said. “The bill also includes support for financial and oversight institutions and activating their tools,” the President said.
Iraq has witnessed bloody demonstrations in recent years as citizens decried corruption of public officials. Salih during the address also indicated that corruption has disrupted the people’s will to progress.
Iraq ranked 160th over 180 countries in 2020 on the Transparency International Corruption Index.