Iraq recovers $216 million from Saddam officials

17th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Iraq has recovered $216 million in the past month from bank accounts overseas belonging to two Saddam-era officials, the country's anti-graft watchdog said in a statement seen on Saturday.

The Commission on Integrity reclaimed $116 million from accounts in France, it said in a statement issued Thursday, in addition to $100 million retained from Kuwait in August.

The funds comprised $106 million deposited in UBAF, a French-registered bank whose shareholders include 19 Arab banks and Credit Agricole, and the equivalent of $10 million in foreign currency deposited in several banks in France.

The anti-corruption watchdog said in the statement published on Thursday that the accounts had been registered "under one of the former regime members," but did not say which Saddam Hussein-era official.

On August 22, the Commission on Integrity issued a statement saying it had recovered slightly more than $100 million held under the name of an ex-regime official in neighbouring Kuwait.

It said in both instances that it had obtained the funds with the help of the US embassy in Baghdad.

The announcement comes after the anti-corruption watchdog's former chief stepped down earlier this month, citing political interference in his work.

He slammed Iraq's leaders following his resignation, describing graft as "part of the struggle for power" in the country.

© 2011 AFP

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