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Iraq warned of lax money laundering consequences

Since 2004, the Central Bank of Iraq has been working with the Anti-Money Laundering Law to combat money laundering

The financial sector in Iraq is facing strict warnings of the consequences of the continuation of money laundering and smuggling operations.

Economists call for the linking of the fight against financial crime with the finance committee that the Iraqi parliament decided to set up in order to gain legal force against violators, reports Saudi-based Al-Hayat.

Economist Sadeq Mahmoud warns of the inclusion of Iraq in the list of countries with lax anti-money laundering controls.

Sadeq says, “Iraq’s fighting money laundering without a formal law regulating the work, would make it vulnerable to be inserted in the blacklist of countries experiencing these organised operations of money laundering without opposition.”

He points out that, since 2004, the Central Bank of Iraq has been working with the Anti-Money Laundering Law to combat money laundering and announces from time to time that it is in the process of issuing a special law and pushing it to the parliament.

“But that did not happen,” he adds.

Speaking about the consequences of adding the country to the blacklist, Mahmoud says that some companies will not be able to implement investment projects because their countries’ laws do not allow this.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank are uncertain about financing Iraq through loans, and they warned the government and the central bank more than once about the organised money laundering operations in Iraq, he adds.