Iraqi PM confirms cases of ‘fraudulent transfers’ of dollars abroad
Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shaya al-Sudani confirmed the discovery of “fraudulent transfers” of dollars abroad through the use of money transfer systems with the depreciation of the dinar.
In an interview with the state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV channel, the prime minister explained that currency was smuggled abroad through transfers based on fake import invoices that were overpriced.
He said the smuggling was through “falsified invoices and the money was coming out and being smuggled out, and that’s the reality, otherwise what would we be importing $300 million a day?”
He added: “What does it mean that we imported $300 million worth of goods a day? That money was inevitably leaving Iraq, and it was a chronic problem for many years.”
The prime minister deduced the existence of smuggling, stating that prior to the implementation of the “Swift system”, the Central Bank of Iraq was selling many times more green currency to merchants than what it sells to them today, and yet there are no missing goods in the markets today.
It has become mandatory for Iraqi banks to conduct these transfers through the SWIFT electronic platform, which allows, in particular, the US Central Bank to control these transfers.
Al-Sudani touched on this mechanism and considered it a tool to achieve “a real reform of the banking system, the economic system, to save public money and prevent their smuggling and money laundering.”
The prime minister confirmed that his government has formed “specialized security teams” to detect smugglers and confiscate smuggled funds.
He added: “We hear that the money is smuggled into Kurdistan and from the region it goes to neighboring countries,” without specifying whether he was referring to Turkey, Iran, or Syria, which is mired in war.
Al-Sudani said: “The financial situation in Iraq today is in the best condition because merchants and businessmen are accustomed to correct and legal trade.”
Over the past two months, the Iraqi dinar has lost more than 10 percent of its value against the green currency, leading to sporadic protests against the decline in citizens’ purchasing power.
The price of the dollar on the market today, Tuesday, reached 1680 dinars, while its official price is still 1470 dinars.
Analysts and officials attribute this decline in the value of the national currency to the compliance of the Iraqi banking system with international rules regarding money transfers.
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