The Central Bank of Iraq has ordered all governmental financial departments and state-owned banks on Wednesday to “halt or freeze” the accounts of four Iraqi officials who have had US sanctions imposed on them, according to an official bank order.
Four Iraqis, including two Iranian Militias in Syria and Iraq (IMIS) leaders were sanctioned by the US Treasury for alleged corruption and human rights abuses, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on July 18 in response to corruption and human rights abuses they committed upon "persecuted religious communities struggling to recover from the horrors inflicted on them by ISIS."
Haitham al-Jabouri, head of the Iraqi parliament’s finance committee, warned that these sanctions may precede another, much larger wave of sanctions on Iraqi officials.
“There are some sources confirming that the US Treasury is preparing a list of 67 other Iraqi individuals to put sanctions on,” he said.
The sanctioned individuals include two IMIS commanders - Rayan al-Kildani, leader of a Christian IMIS faction called the Babylon Movement, and Waad Qado, head of the IMIS Shabak 30th Brigade.
Kildani and his militia have been accused of prisoners’ rights violations, systematic looting of homes, selling confiscated farmland and impeding the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the Nineveh Plains.
Members of the local population allege that Qado’s 30th Brigade has committed physical intimidation, extortion, robbery, kidnapping and rape, and it also impeded the return of Christians.
Former Nineveh Governor Nawfal Hamadi and former Salahuddin Governor and current MP Ahmed al-Jabouri, both of whom are accused of corruption, also face sanctions.
An April 2019 investigation by Iraq’s Integrity Commission found almost $64 million had been embezzled from Nineveh’s coffers by employees close to Hamadi.
Jabouri was removed as Salahuddin governor and sentenced to prison in July 2017 for misusing authority and federal funds and appropriating land for personal use, though he has since been released. The Treasury also accused Jabouri of “accommodating Iran-backed proxies that operate outside of state control.”
In protests organized and attended by current Salahuddin Governor Ammar Jabr al-Jabouri, supporters of Ahmed al-Jabouri chanted in defense of their “legendary leader” in the city of Salahuddin on Monday.