Corruption’s cost Iraq $US150b: President | Ralph-Lauren

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Corruption has cost Iraq $US150 billion ($A194 billion) smuggled abroad since 2003, the country’s President Barham Salih says.

Iraq is experiencing a deep economic crisis compounded by a fall in oil prices, the country’s main source of income, and the coronavirus pandemic.

“The total value of Iraq’s crude oil exports since 2003 until now has exceeded 1000 billion dollars, while the scale of corruption is estimated at 150 billion dollars smuggled abroad through deals,” Bahram said in a televised address.

He proposed setting up an international anti-corruption alliance, patterned after a multinational military coalition that fought Islamic State militants in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

“Corruption and terrorism are inter-related,” Salih said.

He added that he had presented a draft bill to the Iraqi parliament to help retrieve money allegedly smuggled abroad through corruption.

Street protests have sprung up in Iraq since October 2019, with demonstrators calling for an end to corruption and an overhaul of the country’s political system, which has been in place since the 2003 US-led invasion.

The protests calmed somewhat after a new government led by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was formed in May last year and pledged reforms

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