Iraq grain board chief to be investigated in graft case: Ministry
Iraq’s acting trade minister has referred grain board chief and 16 individuals for investigation over suspected transportation of illegal wheat shipments
Iraq’s acting trade minister has referred grain board chief Haitham al-Khishali and 16 unnamed individuals for investigation over suspected transportation of illegal wheat shipments, a ministry statement said on Monday.
The grain board is responsible for purchasing billions of dollars worth of commodities internationally and from Iraqi farmers to be used in the nationwide ration programme, making it one of the world’s biggest importers of wheat and rice.
A ministry investigation disclosed that Khishali, the silo manager of Khan Dhari in western Baghdad and 15 other employees were implicated in “forging transportation documents” for wheat cargoes, the statement said.
The move comes three months after acting Trade Minister Mohammed al-Sudani sacked the head of the grain board and six other officials over graft allegations.
“Investigations into other silos in Baghdad, Basra and Samawa are ongoing,” the statement added.
Several trade ministry officials have faced corruption allegations in the past, and four ministry security guards were arrested for killing a ministry media adviser in September with a bomb. They are awaiting trial.