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IraqSide:Buzz
RUMOR MILL
Minister Reviews Maysan Force, Corrupt Officer?
A Crackdown on Unqualified Cops; Bribes as High as $2,000?
By SLOGGER NETWORK 05/27/2009 4:53 PM ET

The Iraqi interior minister traveled to the province of Maysan to review the security forces in the southern province and survey the security situation, local security sources told slogger. Jawad al-Boulani met several high-level officials including the governor of the province as well as the commander of provincial police forces. While the minister attended the opening of a police station where he discussed the future of Iraqi security forces after any potential US withdrawal of its forces from Iraq, an anonymous source in the Maysan police told Slogger that the minister’s visit also had a less well-publicized purpose: to investigate allegations of financial corruption surrounding an officer in Maysan command. The source told Slogger that Lt. Col. Fadhil al-Bahadli has racked up an administrative deficit estimated at about a billion Iraqi dinars (about $863,000 in US currency).

The officer was found with gunshot wounds in the abdomen after news of the deficit broke, local sources say, adding that the officer was transferred to the hospital amid heavy security. Some rumors circulating in the province suggest that the officer attempted suicide after the deficit had been discovered, while others relay that the young man’s father attacked him after discovering the embezzlement.

Meanwhile, Maysan police officials are attempting a crackdown on policemen who had been employed under false pretenses.

Security sources told Slogger that the number of people added to the payroll without qualifications in the province numbered in the hundreds, adding that typical bribes paid to well-placed officers to hire unqualified staff range between $1,000 and $2,000.

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