It does not enrich or fatten the national economy.. Iraq’s real estate abroad exceeds $90 billion

Iraqi assets abroad are spread over more than 50 countries around the world, between real estate, farms, palaces, schools for the Iraqi community, offices of government companies, Iraqi banks, and homes for diplomatic missions.

Baghdad Iraq is one of the rich countries, but more than a quarter of its people live below the poverty line, and it is surprising when you know that there are real estate and farms owned by the Iraqi state abroad whose financial assets are valued at tens of billions of dollars.

In light of the political, economic and financial challenges that Iraq is going through, the file of Iraqi real estate abroad appears to the surface to demand the government to move to benefit from it, either by selling it or investing it to be a tributary to the country.

Defense: Iraq owns real estate, palaces and farms in Asian, European and Arab countries (Al-Jazeera Net)

dead assets

Speaking about it, a member of the Integrity Committee in the (dissolved) Iraqi Parliament, Taha Al-Difai, revealed the size of the Iraqi state’s property abroad, and that he owns many assets in many countries.

Al-Dafii told Al-Jazeera Net that Iraq’s property abroad is large and its prices are high, and it is found in various countries of the world such as Britain, France and Switzerland and in many European, Asian and Arab countries, but it is not followed up and some of it sold by illegal means, indicating that most of it belongs to the ministries of finance, trade and education and the Iraqi intelligence and other institutions.

Al-Dafii – who is also part of the Parliamentary Investigation Committee to search for Iraqi funds – adds that these ministries were supposed to follow up their properties outside the country, either by investing or selling, stressing that many of them imposed large taxes on them and became more than their price, especially in European countries, or were exposed to ruin and extinction for neglecting its maintenance.

Regarding the nature of these properties, Al-Dafie said that they include palaces in the French city of Cannes, and tea, tobacco and rice plantations in many countries such as Vietnam and Singapore that were purchased before 2003, revealing his previous committee’s demand for government agencies to inventory real estate abroad and preserve, sell or invest it, but without Feasibility or any real business.

Al-Dafii also revealed the theft of secret documents of the Iraqi intelligence service after 2003, which caused the loss of many Iraqi properties registered in the name of the agency, companies and political persons.

Saleh indicated that the government is working to inventory the real estate assets scattered around the world and to prosecute those responsible for blocking them (Al Jazeera Net)

Wealth Recovery

The Iraqi government has a prominent role in this file through the amended Funds Recovery Fund Law No. 9 of 2021 to pursue stolen assets registered in the name of people, including natural and moral ones outside the country and looted from public funds before 2003.

And about that, the financial advisor to the Iraqi government, Dr. Mazhar Muhammad Salih, says that the Integrity Commission manages the fund for the recovery of funds, including Iraqi real estate abroad, according to an organized prosecution mechanism that extends between the Iraqi judiciary and the foreign judiciary in the area of ​​foreign jurisdiction in which the Iraqi money is the subject of recovery, Whether the funds are real estate, deposits, or various financial and in-kind assets.

Saleh added – to Al Jazeera Net – that government work is moving towards inventorying real estate assets scattered in various parts of the globe, and prosecuting the perpetrators of the crime of embezzlement or concealing Baghdad’s eligibility to them under various names.

The financial advisor indicated that the law to amend the fund recovery fund included cases of abuse of smuggled and stolen public money even after 2003.

Al-Muhammadawi proposes internationalizing the real estate file for investment and achieving dollar returns for the Iraqi treasury (Al-Jazeera Net)

Internationalize the file

In turn, the researcher in financial affairs, Aqil Al-Muhammadawi, said that the Iraqi real estate file abroad is related to the smuggled money or the ownership of which was changed by some corrupt men of the former regime and the post-2003 governments.

Al-Muhammadawi adds – to Al-Jazeera Net – that most of these properties have real estate and legal documents available in the Iraqi embassies in the relevant countries, or are present in foreign and Arab courts, and they need a professional team to compile and analyze these files.

The financial researcher supports the defense and disagrees with Saleh, as he confirms that the sovereign authorities in Iraq have not achieved the required achievements to recover the smuggled funds and real estate disappeared in several forms, proposing the internationalization of the file in the International Court of Justice and the Arab League, and the follow-up of workers in the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies specifically before 2003, and conducting an audit and intersection Information to be investigated with regard to real estate and money that has been forcibly or fraudulently disappeared outside the country in order to invest it to achieve dollar returns to the Iraqi state treasury.

Al-Ansari confirmed that there is no veto before opening the Iraqi state real estate file abroad (Al-Jazeera Net)

$90 billion

In numbers, the Iraqi expert in economics and international trade from the University of London, Aqil Al-Ansari, says that between 80 to 90 billion dollars is the value of Iraqi assets abroad, distributed over more than 50 countries around the world, between real estate, farms, palaces, schools for the Iraqi community, offices of government companies, Iraqi banks and homes. For diplomatic missions, “the former regime used it before 2003 in a roundabout way to record assets and money in the form of accounts for some individuals and companies affiliated with the Iraqi state.”

And about the presence of a “veto” in front of opening the file of the Iraqi state’s real estate abroad, Al-Ansari confirms to Al-Jazeera Net that there is no such thing.

He added that there are assets in the form of real estate in many countries in the name of the Iraqi government whose values ​​amount to millions of dollars, including buildings and offices for branches of the (government) Rafidain Bank and Iraqi Airways, as well as the Iraqi Insurance Company in Britain and Europe, the reservation has not been lifted or Baghdad has not invested the right investment.

Al-Ansari warned that there is a law in force in most countries of the world to freeze funds in bank accounts abroad after 10 years have passed for non-exploitation, and there is no veto or freezing of Iraqi state real estate.

Al-Ansari concluded his speech by saying that the commercial attachés and embassies should initiate cooperation, search for monitoring companies, and investigate Iraq’s money and real estate in countries around the world.

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