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ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A Kurdish lawmaker in Baghdad said on Thursday that $20 billion illegally taken out of the country has been discovered and efforts are underway to bring the cash back to Iraq.
“We discovered $6 billion of Iraq’s money in a basement in Lebanon and we are trying to bring it back through a US company,” Adil Nuri, a spokesperson for the Iraqi Commission of Integrity, told Rudaw.
Nuri said that the rest of the money went to some of Iraq’s other neighboring countries.
“The other $14 billion was found in other countries and we are now taking necessary legal measures to bring it back,” he revealed, adding, “which was illegally sent to UAE, Turkey, Iran, the USA and European countries.”
The lawmaker said that almost all the cash went missing from Iraq’s state funds during the time of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“During 8 years of Nuri al-Maliki's rule in Iraq, nearly $360 billion in Iraq has gone missing,” Nuri claimed.
Iraq has been continually ranked by international agencies as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
In an early statement to Rudaw last October Nuri said that the courts in Baghdad had issued arrest warrants for 10 Iraqi ex-ministers for multibillion dollar embezzlement.