The Kurdistan Region’s Commission of Integrity (CI) on Tuesday revealed it had convicted two individuals in two separate cases for corruption and fraud and had fined them over $1.6 million to be returned to the public treasury.
According to a CI statement, one of the accused had bought cheques from local contractors at lower prices and had used them in public banks for personal purposes.
The man, in this case, was sentenced to seven years in prison and received a hefty fine of $1,662,000 which will be sent to the treasury.
In the second case, the felon was convicted of embezzling money from the Department of Electricity in Sulaimani which belonged to the people’s electric bills.
The case was settled, and the man was given seven years in prison and a fine of $8,000.
The commission’s court had raised the cases to the Sulaimani Criminal Court where they were reconciled.
Many prominent politicians in the Iraqi national elections addressedthe country’s rampant corruption, highlighting the mismanagement of funds while putting particular emphasis on the lack of transparency in regards to oil.
According to Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Iraq is the tenth most corrupt out of 180 countries.
“Corruption is endemic in the Arab states while assaults on freedom of expression, press freedoms, and civil society continue to escalate,” TI pointed out in their 2017 CPI report.
The KRG is making significant efforts to combat corruption. According to the Commission, there are ongoing investigations into different cases, and as of the end of 2017, verdicts have been reached in 39 out of 123 corruption cases.