ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Commission of Integrity on Monday revealed corruption marred contracts between the state-run Basra Oil Company and two international firms over the purchase of loading arms.
The contracts between the parties valued the purchase of loading arms at a total of $126 million, while the actual price should not have exceeded $40 million, the commission said in a statement, of which Kurdistan 24 received a copy.
The statement did not specify the name of the two international companies in question, nor the date the contracts were signed.
The price they assigned in the contract for a single loading arm was $42 million, with the actual value estimated at $13 million, the commission added.
The statement did not give further details but pointed out the case would be presented to a judge to take appropriate legal action.
Successive Iraqi federal governments have not been able to put an end to corruption as the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi struggles to end the waste of public money and faces strong resistance.
Corruption and mismanagement within Iraq’s government institutions remain a challenge and obstacle for civilians hoping for stability in the country.
Iraq has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The embattled Middle Eastern nation, however, continues to rank high on Transparency International’s list for corruption, fraud, and mismanagement of state institutions, some of the most significant challenges facing the country since the fall of the former regime in 2003.
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