Jabouri revealed that the parliamentary Integrity Committee, one of the financial monitoring bodies, lacks communication channels with other monitoring bodies such as the anti-money-laundering unit of the Central Bank of Iraq and the Federal Board of Supreme Audit.
When it comes to the role Iraq plays in laundering of Syrian money, Jabouri affirmed, “This issue needs careful consideration from the part of economic experts and bankers.”
He continued, “Yes, there is openness between both countries, as everybody knows; yet, we cannot confirm the story of laundering Syrian money without compelling evidence.”
Abdel Hussein al-Ankabi, an economic adviser to the Iraqi prime minister, refused to comment on the issue of money laundering in Iraq. Mazhar Mohammad Saleh, the former assistant to the Central Bank of Iraq’s governor, said in a statement to Al-Monitor, “Many Iraqi financial officials do not differentiate between exporting and smuggling money.”
“Iraq does not overlook any information about money laundering,” Saleh added. “There are some people talking about money laundering, and [by this] they mean smuggling. Smuggling is not laundering."
Saleh said, “Cash circulation takes two courses; the first is outside the banking entity, while the second is within bank regulations, to legitimize these funds.”
Talking about laundering Syrian money in Iraq, Saleh said, “I have no knowledge of this issue.”
Omar al-Shaher is a contributor to Al-Monitor’s Iraq Pulse. His writing has appeared in publications including France’s Le Monde, Iraq's Alesbuyia, Egypt’s Al-Ahaly and the Elaph website. He previously covered political and security affairs for Iraq's Al-Mada newspaper.