In a statement on its website, the Integrity Commission said that its team—in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications—seized the “greatest” Internet smuggling operation in Iraq via its optical cable project.
The Iraqi Ministry of Communications’ optical cable project monitors the transfer of Internet capacity between provinces in Iraq, especially Kirkuk.
According to the Integrity Commission, the seizure was carried out at the sites of Ertlenk and IKU, two private sector companies that provide Internet service.
“The smuggling operations amounted to $47 million at the cost of one million per month,” the statement on its website said.
“The communications equipment for the smuggling operation was seized, as well as the manager of the Ertlenk site in the province,” the statement added without providing the manager’s name.
Private companies have been acquiring Internet access in Iraq since 2003, where the average amount paid by subscribers is about 50,000 Iraqi dinars ($40).
Widespread corruption and mismanagement in state institutions is the most significant challenge facing Iraqis since the fall of the former regime in 2003.
According to Transparency International’s 2016 Corruption Index report, Iraq ranked 166 out of 176 as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
Despite protests by Iraqis across the country, corruption continues to drain government resources as Baghdad struggles to cope with the cost of reconstruction of liberated areas following the war with the Islamic State.
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