By John Lee.
Iraq's acting trade minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, has reportedly sacked the head of the powerful Grain Board of Iraq and six other officials over allegations of corruption.
Reuters quotes ministry sources as saying that the move was part of a comprehensive operation intended to "cleanse the ministry of officials who have any hint of corruption."
The board is responsible for sourcing grain internationally and from Iraqi farmers, making it one of the world's biggest importers of wheat and rice.
Some trade officials and their deputies were replaced after they were found to be unqualified for their positions, a ministry statement said.
Authorities recently issued an arrest warrant for then Trade Minister Milas Mohamed Abdul Kareem following a corruption investigation. A court also summoned Abdul Kareem and eight other ministry officials for questioning over claims of illicit gains made from the purchase of Uruguayan rice.
Abdul Kareem, whose current whereabouts are unknown, has said the allegations are not based on solid evidence.
(Corruption image via Shutterstock)