Ghost Contractors sink Baghdad after Rains

Chamri said that projects were referred to “bogus companies and fake names,” and that contracts were then sold “to companies other than those to which the [infrastructure] projects were referred.”

“The other more serious issue is that there are officials whose relatives and associates own companies using fake names,” he added. “The report of Iraq’s Supreme Audit Board reveals the rampant corruption, as the percentage of bubble projects reached 80%, to which huge sums were allocated.”

Jassem al-Musawi, a political author and analyst, told Al-Monitor, “Observers of Iraqi affairs are aware of the massive and fearsome financial corruption, and the floods in the Iraqi cities are a normal product of the bubble projects that do not exist on the ground.”

He added, “Corruption gangs and mafias have devastated the country more than terrorism. The rampant corruption in the state has weakened the national spirit among citizens and incapacitated the state itself.”

Regarding the benefits of these projects, Mehdi Aakul Sultani, a member of Babil’s provincial council, gave a positive image of the infrastructure projects in the province. He said, “The most important rainwater drainage project is the installation of channels and the expansion of drainage networks by linking them to houses in different parts of the province.”

He added, “The designs of sewage projects and drainage networks were awarded to an Italian company, and the provincial council allocated more than 500 billion dinars [$433 million] to install the networks within the 2014 plan. Yet, since the [general] budget has not been approved yet, the project has not been implemented.”

Sultani demanded that “the federal government allocate a contingency budget of nearly 6 billion dinars [$5.1 million] for the rainwater drainage project across the province.”

3 Responses to Ghost Contractors sink Baghdad after Rains