Billions of Dinars Missing From Erbil Bank

09/12/2012  RUDAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Twenty-five billion Iraqi dinars (21.4 million dollars) have gone missing from the federal bank in Erbil, the Kurdistan Regional Government disclosed this week, and a finance ministry official said the money had been embezzled by a bank worker and a private contractor.

“After we investigated some small errors in the bank’s accounting, we discovered that a huge amount of money is missing,” a senior official at the finance ministry told Rudaw, adding that the ministry had formed a committee to investigate the case. The Kurdistan Region’s Minister of Finance Rashid Tahir, confirmed the news, saying, “It is true there is a problem at the federal bank of Erbil and a lot of money has gone missing.”

He said that the committee investigating the case would, “send the outcome of the investigation to the court for legal action.” This is the second case of its kind in the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Two years ago 2.5 billion dinars were unaccounted for at the same bank. The head of the bank and his accountant were both arrested by police. In the latest incident, the finance ministry official said that a female bank worker and a private contractor were involved in the embezzlement. “The worker (identified by her initial, ‘B’) had entered into a deal with a contractor. She let him withdraw the money, although he did not have the funds in his account,” the official said.