ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The Islamic State (IS) stole roughly USD $750 million from the Iraqi provinces it occupied since 2014, the Iraqi Central Bank of Iraq declared on Tuesday.
The militant group confiscated assets, including the financial reserves from dozens of private and government banks in the provinces of Nineveh, Anbar, and Salahuddin, when it first emerged three years ago.
The statement claimed IS seized 121 branches from state-owned and private banks, including branches of the Central Bank of Iraq once it stormed Mosul, Tikrit, and vast areas of Anbar in 2014.
The Central Bank estimates the amount of money IS took from the branches it controlled totaled 856 billion Iraqi Dinars (roughly $648 million dollars) in addition to USD $101 million the banks kept in reserve.
“Most of the deposits belong to the local government departments and were related to provincial projects outlined in the 2014 budget, including assets from the Ministries of Defense and Interior,” the statement read.
IS is the richest terror organization the world has known.
At its height, the militant group’s annual turnover, thanks to its illicit oil exports, amounted to around $2 billion, with some analysts estimating the number could be $3 billion.
Other sources of revenue included kidnapping and ransom, the collection of protection and taxes, bank robberies, and the illegal trade of looted artifacts.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany