ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Interior Ministry on Tuesday said it had uncovered an instance of alleged misappropriation of public funds in the purchase of K-9 sniffer dogs by a provincial police department.
Under the contract signed by the Diyala Police Directorate, an order was made to buy 30 police dogs, tasked with the detection of explosives and drugs, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry. It added that the stated price in the contract was 495 million dinars, about $415,000.
Interior Ministry Inspector-General, Jamal al-Asadi, was quoted as saying in the statement that a commission of inquiry investigated the details of the contract and found that the price had been exaggerated. Asadi claimed that the amount of wasted public money came up to roughly 105 million dinars, or some $88,000.
Asadi did not mention the date of the contract nor the name of the company, but indicated it was “a non-specialized company.”
The investigation showed, according to the same statement, that a “specialized” company had previously equipped the Babylon Police Directorate with the same number of dogs, specifications, and after-sales services at the cost of 390 million dinars, or $327.000.
Here, it appears, is how the ministry determined the amount which had been “wasted,” comparing the Babylon deal with the Diyala one.
The statement said that the Office of the Inspector-General in Diyala prepared a “detailed report for the Audit and Financial Supervision Directorate in the Interior Inspectorate…to complete its audit procedures in the case, including a recommendation to form a council to find the culprits and violators, and take legal action against them.”
The Middle Eastern nation continues to rank high on Transparency International’s list for corruption, fraud, and mismanagement of state institutions. According to the organization’s 2018 Corruption Index, Iraq ranks 168th, the 12th most corrupt country out of a total of 180.
Editing by Nadia Riva