Iraq security official arrested over bribe: graft body

The unnamed official was "caught red-handed receiving the bribe", the statement said.
author_image AFP
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr protest in the capital Baghdad's Green Zone, on August 29, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr protest in the capital Baghdad's Green Zone, on August 29, 2022. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP)

Iraq's anti-corruption commission announced Monday the arrest of a senior security official in Maysan province bordering Iran on charges of taking a bribe in a sting operation. 

In a statement carried by state media, the Commission for Integrity said it arrested the director of the National Security department in Maysan who was caught accepting a bribe he had demanded to release a vehicle seized by the state.

The bribe, amounting to $7,500, was paid by an informant working with the commission, it said.

The unnamed official was "caught red-handed receiving the bribe", the statement said.

The arrest was filmed in a video shared on social media showing the arrest in his office, as a stack of dollars was pulled out of his drawer and seized.

Corruption plagues all levels of the Iraqi state, but middle managers, rather than top officials, tend to bear the brunt of anti-graft campaigns.

Official figures published last year estimated that well over $400 billion has gone missing from state coffers in the near two decades since dictator Saddam Hussein was toppled in the 2003 US-led invasion.

The country ranks a lowly 157 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's corruption perceptions index.

Major anti-regime protests in late 2019 were spurred in large part by anger over corruption and the related dilapidation of public services.