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Iraq: Police chief arrested while taking bribe in his office

Video footage shows officers raiding offices as police chief allegedly accepts $7,500 bribe from informant
Iraqi police patrol the streets of Amara in Maysan province, 365 kilometres south of Baghdad, on June 19, 2008 (AFP)
Iraqi police patrol the streets of Amara in Maysan province, 365 km south of Baghdad, on 19 June 2008 (AFP)

Iraqi police have arrested a regional head of the country's security agency as he was in the process of taking a bribe in his office in Maysan province.

Officers linked to the Commission of Integrity (CoI), the country's anti-corruption body, raided the office of the director of national security in Maysan after receiving information that he was taking money from the family of a local man being investigated by his department.

Video footage released on Twitter, which could not be independently verified by Middle East Eye, appeared to show the raid taking place.

A statement from the CoI said that after receiving the information about the bribe-taking they "set up a working team from their investigation office in Maysan governorate, to investigate this information".

"The agreement (was) between him and the informant to hand over the bribe amount of $7,500... he was caught red-handed." The commission did not name the arrested director in their press statement.

Rampant corruption 

Studies often led by western NGOs have regularly listed Iraq as one of the most corruption-riddled countries in the world.

The Berlin-based NGO Transparency International's 2021 Corruption Perception Index ranked Iraq at 157 out of 180 countries.

In June, a three-year probe by the CoI revealed that nearly $700m in public funds had been misappropriated from state-run banks in a scandal implicating more than 40 people.

The commission said that a total of 926 billion Iraqi dinars ($697m) went missing due to "forgery, embezzlement, manipulation, money laundering (and) abuse of position".

The alleged fraud took place at a branch of an agricultural bank in Maysan, as well as four branches of Rasheed Bank in the province and the capital, Baghdad.

In its statement on Monday, the CoI called on Iraqis to "cooperate with it by reporting cases of corruption, bargaining and extortion" that they experience in state institutions.

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