How Iraqi Real Estate became Subject of Corrupt Dealings

It should be noted that many real estate registration authorities were victims of arson and looting in the tumultuous period following the ouster of Saddam’s regime in April 2003.

Shawqi added, “After the ousting of Saddam, many estates belonging to former regime figures, as well as properties located on the bank of the Tigris River and in Qadisiyah province, were either illegally seized or sold at low prices.”

Given the correlation between this phenomenon and the security situation, especially in Baghdad, properties are considered valuable commodities used for political ends, to rally followers and eliminate rivals. During the Saddam era, real estate served the regime’s political agenda and power consolidation, with the regime using it to gain support and suppress dissent.

During his eight-year war with Iran (1980-1988), Saddam distributed land and houses to families of war victims. Meanwhile, dissenters had to flee and saw their properties stripped from them.

In the areas outside Baghdad, the reasons were different. An employee and expert in real estate registration in Babil told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The sale and purchase operations of real estate by means of forgery are only possible with the help of influential parties, as they require legal procedures and official documents.”

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