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Tags: Iraq | Ghost Soldiers

Iraqi PM: Army Probe Uncovers 50,000 'Ghost Soldiers'

Monday, 01 December 2014 09:09 AM

The Iraqi army has been paying off 50,000 “ghost soldiers” who either don’t exist or don’t show up for duty, according to reports.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been trying to stamp out the corruption that runs rampant throughout the Iraqi military, which the United States has spent billions equipping and arming, The Washington Post reports.

Abadi was met with a chorus of cheers in parliament as he said that an investigation had uncovered tens of thousands of false names who draw salaries but are not listed in military service. He said that he expected there were many more such “ghost soldiers.”

The corrupt practice is often conducted by officers who claim they have more soldiers on their rolls than they actually do in order to pocket their salaries, the Post says citing experts.

But CNN said that many "ghost" soldiers are actual members of the armed forces, who pay off their commanders with a part of their salaries so they don't have to man their posts.

"Only by checking paperwork, I managed during this month to eliminate 50,000 ghost soldiers in four Iraqi army divisions," Abadi said.

"I feel sad that all that time we were paying salaries, and we don't have money, while other soldiers are fighting and getting killed, and some soldiers are getting paid without appearing.”

Corruption in the military was widespread under Abadi’s predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, and was partially blamed for the collapse of the army in June when it was attacked by Islamic State extremists, the Post stated.

With entry level troops getting paid $600 a month, the practice of “ghost soldiers” is costing Iraq at least $238 million a year.

“It could be more than triple this number,” said Hamid al-Mutlaq, a member of the security committee. “The people who are responsible for this should be punished. Iraq’s safe has been emptied.”

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GlobalTalk
The Iraqi army has been paying off 50,000 “ghost” soldiers who either don’t exist or don’t show up for duty, according to reports.
Iraq, Ghost Soldiers
311
2014-09-01
Monday, 01 December 2014 09:09 AM
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