MESOP “CORRUPTION IN KURDISTAN” – Kurdish officials illegally deposited Kurdistan money into European banks: speaker

2 Oct 2016 – REUTERS – BRUSSELS,— Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq said Saturday that Kurdish authorities have information that Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have deposited money belonging to the region into European banks.

Sadiq told NRT from Belgium’s capital, Brussels, that a number of officials are suspected of taking money belonging to the KRG as calls continue from the public and international community for the region’s leaders to control corruption.

“We’ve received information from official sources that, yes, the Kurdistan Region’s money has been put into European banks by the [Kurdish] officials,” Sadiq stated. “We even have information about the amount of money that is in the banks.”

This is not the first time that senior KRG officials have alleged that their counterparts have stolen government money that was later deposited into European bank accounts.Earlier this year six blocs in the Kurdistan Parliament issued a statement urging authorities to bring back money stolen from the region.Similarly, in a sit-down interview with NRT, former KRG Prime Minister Barham Salih alleged that officials and even companies had taken and transferred money from the region. Sadiq refused to reveal the exact countries where the alleged accounts are held and the sources that provided the information, although he did urge the officials involved to return the money to the KRG to help solve crises affecting the government.

“This needs an investigation and we have talked with those who are working on this issue,” he continued, adding that a solution to the problem is “impossible.”The speaker was in Brussels on Saturday to attend the sixteenth general meeting of the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK).