The Iraqi Integrity Commission directed the Iraqi Security Forces ISF to arrest a general director in the Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Minerals while receiving a “bribe amounting to $500,000” in exchange for handing over a letter from the ministry regarding the new Badoush cement factory in Nineveh to an investor.
The Commission arrested the Director-General at the late hours of January 16, in Baghdad while he was receiving the money, according to a source familiar with the case anonymously told (KirkukNow).
The letter, according to KirkukNow sources, relates to returning the rights to renovation the new Badoush Cement Factory to an Iraqi investor, based on the decision of the Cement Board of Directors of the Iraqi Ministry of Industry.
The investor, owner of the Jabal Al-Hadid Company, signed a contract with the Ministry of Industry years ago to rehabilitate the factory, and according to the company’s official page, work on the project took place until April 2023, but in November of the same year, another company called Okan Group resumed work on the project.
According to information obtained by the KirkukNow, Jabal al-Hadid Company stopped working on the project “under pressure” from an armed group, and then Okan Group began work on it, but it is not clear how the Ministry of Industry allowed this.
One of the general directors in the ministry told him that he was ready to hand over the decision to him in exchange for an amount of 500,000 American dollars
As a result, the owner of the Jabal Al-Hadid Company filed a complaint with the Iraqi Ministry of Industry, and the Ministry’s Cement Board of Directors decided the case in his favor.
One of the source told (KirkukNow) on the condition of anonymity, “After the owner of the Jabal al-Hadid company approached the ministry to receive the decision of the Cement Board of Directors at the Ministry of Industry, one of the general directors in the ministry told him that he was ready to hand over the decision to him in exchange for an amount of 500,000 American dollars.”
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.
The Badoush Cement Factory is affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, and in 2021 it was presented to investors to rehabilitate it and boost its production capacity, so the Jabal Al-Hadid Company contracted with the Ministry of Industry for this purpose.
On January 16, a force affiliated with the Integrity Commission had information about the matter and arrested the Director-General of the Ministry while he was receiving the money.”
One of the sources shared a photo of the operation with (Kirkuk Now) showing the moment the Director-General was arrested.
KirkukNow team tried to contact the Nineveh Integrity Commission as well as the Baghdad Integrity Commission to obtain more information about the case, but this was not possible, while the Iraqi Integrity Commission did not publish any information on its official website and other platforms. KirkukNow decided not to disclose the identity of the General Director in order to preserve the course of the legal procedures of the case.
Badoush Cement Factory is located in Al-Humaidat sub-district, 25 km west of Mosul. The factory's production capacity was about four thousand tons per day in 2021.
The factory was established in 1977 and has two production lines. It is one of the factories that was damaged during the war against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS.