On Wednesday, Qatar joined other Arab League members in Baghdad for a two-day International Conference for the Recovery of Stolen Funds.
Attended by the Arab League's Secretary General Ahmed Abu Al Ghait, Qatar's Justice Minister Masoud bin Mohammed Al Ameri, and his Arab colleagues.
The seminar, according to QNA, focused on combatting corruption and retrieving cash stolen from Iraq since the 2003 US invasion while showcasing ways to employ recovered capital.
"Corruption and terrorism are two sides of the same coin," stated Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
Al-Kadhimi remarked in his broadcast remarks during the conference's opening session that "I call on friendly and brotherly countries to help Iraq regain its funds."
In recent years, a special anti-corruption committee has revealed years of corruption, according to the PM.
“Despite attacks and false accusations aimed at sabotaging the committee's work, the committee unearthed corruption files that had been hidden for 17 years,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Iraq's Justice Minister Salar Abdul Sattar lamented a lack of international attempts to recover stolen assets.
“We are determined to retrieve all of Iraq's money from abroad,” Abdul Sattar said.
On May 23, Iraqi President Barham Salih estimated up to $150 billion had been smuggled out of the country since the US-led invasion in 2003.
Haitham Al-Jubouri, head of the Iraqi Finance Committee, said money is stolen by powerful dealers handing him fraudulent receipts worth millions of dollars.
Salih presented the Iraqi Parliament with a draft Corrupt Funds Recovery Act in May, aiming to “strengthen the Iraqi nation's powers to recover money stolen in corrupt dealings, hold corrupt people accountable and bring them to justice”.
According to Transparency International, Iraq is one of the world's most corrupt countries. It is now ranked 160 out of 180.
Millions of Iraqis took to the streets in 2019 to demand an end to corruption. Civils protested unemployment and lack of basic services.
Iraq has suffered since the US invasion, with the health ministry reporting at least 151,000 deaths between 2003 and 2006. But the total number of civilian deaths is debatable.
UNICEF estimates that 4-5 million children have been orphaned.
The Watson Institute found 9.2 million displaced Iraqis after the war, up from 21 million in 2019.
Human rights abuses are still rampant in the war-torn country, particularly in the US-run Abu Ghraib jail.
In 2004, images emerged of naked captives being stacked on top of each other, attacked by dogs, electrocuted, and forced to pose in humiliating positions by US forces in Iraq.
The US invaded Iraq based on bogus claims that it had WMD. Despite this, 2,500 US forces remain in Iraq to fight the Islamic State extremist group in Operation Inherent Resolve.
In August, the US returned almost 17,000 4,000-year-old smuggled artifacts to Iraq.