Kirkuk police announced that they had arrested the wife of the former head of the Sunni Endowment Diwan, Saad Kambash, three of his children and his brother while they were on their way to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region IKR, hours after Kambash escaped from the police station where he was detained.
The former head of the Sunni Endowment Office was sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in a corruption case related to the purchase of a hotel in the Erbil, according to a statement issued by the Sunni Endowment Office on April 11.
Kirkuk police spokesman Amer Nuri confirmed in a statement to KirkukNow that the wife, children and brother of Saad Kambash were arrested at a security checkpoint of Kirkuk.
"The security services were tracking them and arrested them upon their arrival at the Kirkuk checkpoint, later they were immediately handed over to Baghdad," he added.
The Iraqi Security Forces have declared that Kambash was arrested end of March.
The spokesman for the General Command of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Major General Yahya Rasool, said in a statement on April 19, that Saad Kambash was arrested on March 21 as part of the investigations of the Federal Integrity Commission and sentenced on April 11.
"Saad Kambesh was detained in the Karrada Mariam Police Station in Baghdad, on the 18th of this April, and after the visit of Representative Asmaa Hamid Kambesh to the police station at Iftar (dinner) time and her departure from it, and at 10:30 at night, the convict escaped with the help of three people from behind the center and reached to two vehicles that were waiting for him to secure his escape to an unknown destination,” Rasool explained.
The spokesman for the General Command of the Armed Forces indicated that the competent authorities initiated the investigation, seized documents and evidence, and proceeded to uncover them and arrest everyone related to the escape and the parties that facilitated that, adding that "the investigating judge issued an order to arrest the officers and employees of the police stations responsible for the detention of the detainee."
Iraq was ranked at 157 among 180 states by the non-governmental organization Transparency International’s the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), an index which ranks countries by perceived levels of public sector corruption, determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
The CPI generally defines corruption as an "abuse of power for private gain." The index is published annually by Transparency International since 1995.
Methods of bribe taking included more fees collected than the amount recorded in the official receipt that is delivered to the auditor in some departments, in addition to the registering higher fees for the experts whom receive less than what is stipulated in the instructions of the executive.
On April 11, the Iraqi Commission of Integrity announced that the court had sentenced the former head of the Sunni Endowment Bureau to four years in prison "for committing violations of his job duties and causing damage to public funds."
The statement touched on the details of the case against which Kambash was prosecuted, which indicates that the violations consisted of his instructing the Sunni Endowment Administration and Investment Authority to purchase the Armada Hotel located in Erbil, despite the lack of economic feasibility, and his agreement to reverse the trusts, contrary to the instructions of the Diwan’s Financial Supervision.
The court convicted Kambash of committing some of these violations for the benefit of other people at the expense of the state.
The ruling issued against Kambash is based on Article 331 of the Iraqi Penal Code, which states that, “Any public employee or agent assigned to a public service who willfully commits a breach of his job duties or refrains from performing one of its duties with the intention of harming someone’s interest shall be punished with imprisonment and a fine or one of these two penalties.”
According to reports, officials in the former government of Mustafa al-Kadhimi stole $2.5 billion from Iraq’s state-owned al-Rafidaen bank which was called by Iraqi’s ‘the heist of the century’. Current Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Sudani, appeared on television surrounded by $100 million in cash to announce he was in the process of returning the money.