$billions "Siphoned off" from Iraqi Dinar Auctions

By John Lee.

Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari has shown The Financial Times documents that appear to be part of a probe by Iraq's parliamentary finance committee, purporting to show how an individual close to the previous government used currency auctions to siphon $6.4 billion from the state.

A spokesperson for former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Mr Zebari’s allegations were “untrue and unrealistic”, adding he was trying to politicise the current parliament’s inquiries.

We challenge Mr Zebari to prove there is any connection between us and that person. Making accusations without any evidence or proof shows this is nothing more than a miserable attempt to get out of the bottleneck he has fallen into.

Zebari said that in 2012 and 2013 the Maliki government had billions of dollars in surpluses, but when he took office in 2015 there was “only $694 million in the government coffers”.

Iraq Business News provides summaries of the daily currency auctions, at which typically around $130 million are sold to buy Iraqi dinars at an official rate of 1182 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.

(Source: Financial Times)

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