ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Interior Ministry announced on Saturday the arrest of dozens of people, including foreign women and security service members during a series of raids on gambling dens in the capital of Baghdad.
The ministry released a video that showed masked police officers raiding a hotel where they made numerous arrests.
The security forces “arrested 140 people from the gambling and roulette halls in Baghdad, including 20 women of foreign nationality, officers, and members of various security services,” a ministry statement said.
The statement did not disclose the identities of the foreign women, nor the ranks of officers or their employers.
The ministry added that the police also shut down “two roulette and gambling halls adjacent to two large hotels in Baghdad.”
As per Article 389 of Iraq’s penal code, anyone who opens or runs a gambling establishment is punishable by up to a year in prison plus a fine. Anyone found to be engaging in the activity in such facilities would be handed a prison sentence for a period not exceeding one month.
It was the police forces’ first such operation in Baghdad in years. However, the Shia-dominated Hashd al-Shaabi militias carried out a campaign earlier this month, during which they claimed to have arrested a so-called grand mafia leader of gambling in the city.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany