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Iraq

Three held over Iraq to UK ‘people-smuggling ring’

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Three men have been arrested in an operation to tackle a people-smuggling network suspected of illegally bringing almost 3,000 migrants into Europe. A 41-year-old from Oldham, suspected of leading the network, was later bailed after being questioned on suspicion of immigration offences. A 35-year-old from Manchester and a 38-year-old from Stoke-on-Trent had been released on bail before the older man. ... Read More »

Drug Smuggling Supported by Maysan’s Tribes

A strong room holds seized narcotics at the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA) Headquarters in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.This image shows the storage facility for seized drugs in Helmand province from the last six months (a total of 3785 kg of narcotics worth £265m).Imagery captured showing the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in central Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The Helmand PRT is a mulitnational team, with staff supplied by the UK, US, Danish and Estonian governments.
The UK has run the management platform for the PRT since 1 May 2006, when it assumed responsibility from the US.
The PRT comprises 91 civilian, 94 military and 27 civilian police staff in Lashkar Gah and district centres across Helmand.  It also employs approximately 30 locally engaged staff, bringing the total staff to 242.
The PRT helps the Afghan Government deliver effective government and security across all Helmand Province.

Smuggling drugs through Iraq on the way to the Gulf and Europe is big business in Maysan province – and it is often the local tribes in the border areas facilitating the enterprise. Drug trafficking has been a popular trade in the southern province of Maysan since the 1990s. “We needed to make money because of the international sanctions against ... Read More »

Police Overwhelmed as Drugs from Iran flood Basra

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By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq. In the oil-rich city of Basra in southern Iraq, drug-trafficking gangs are gaining power. Through certain areas on the Iraqi-Iranian border, drugs come in from Iran to be consumed in Basra or smuggled to other Iraqi ... Read More »

4,000 Smuggled Artifacts to be Returned to Iraq

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Nearly 4,000 ancient artifacts illegally acquired by a US-based arts-and-crafts retailer are to be returned to Iraq on Wednesday. In July of last year, Hobby Lobby agreed to pay a $3 million fine for illegally importing thousands of ancient Iraqi artifacts smuggled into the US through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel. According to the report from NPR, the ... Read More »

Petrofac awarded Basra Oil Company EPC Contract

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Petrofac has been awarded a contract worth around US$370 million by Basra Oil Company (BOC) for expansion of the Central Processing Facility (CPF), located in the Majnoon Field, Southern Iraq. Under the terms of the 34-month contract, the lump-sum engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) project scope of work includes two oil processing trains, able to process 200 kbopd. Petrofac was ... Read More »

Iraq steps up efforts to Stop Smuggling of Rare Species

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Iraq’s Ministry of Health and Environment released 20 falcons back into the wild. The falcons had been smuggled earlier in the month to Kuwait, which returned them to Iraq. This incident is but one example of the systematic smuggling of rare birds and animals out of the country, and the authorities are working to better enforce existing laws and adding ... Read More »

US returns thousands of Ancient Artifacts to Iraq

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned 3,800 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals, and clay bullae, to the Republic of Iraq. The artifacts were smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law and shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc, a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer. Many of the tablets can be shown to come from the ancient city ... Read More »

Hobby Lobby’s Smuggled Artifacts Will Be Returned To Iraq

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Nearly 4,000 ill-gotten artifacts will be returned to Iraq, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says. The ancient objects were bought by Hobby Lobby, a national chain of arts and crafts stores, then smuggled into the United States in violation of federal law. The Oklahoma-based chain of retail stores bought more than 5,500 objects from dealers in the United Arab ... Read More »

Thousands of Iraqi artifacts were once smuggled to Hobby Lobby. Now they’re going home.

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About 3,800 artifacts, including Sumerian cuneiform tablets dating to 2100 B.C., that were illegally smuggled to retailer Hobby Lobby were returned to Iraqi officials in Washington on Wednesday. US Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials signed over the artifacts to Iraqi Ambassador Fareed Yasseen at his Washington residence, with some of the artifacts laid out on a table. “We will continue ... Read More »

Turkish Police Bust Iraq Car-Smuggling Gang

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Five suspected members of an organized crime ring that was smuggling stolen cars into Iraq have reportedly been arrested in Turkey. Police detained three members of the gang, one of them a Greek national, at a customs office in Istanbul after they cleared a luxury Jaguar through customs. They later detained a Turkish national and the Iraqi leader of the ... Read More »

Iraq, Chinese firm to sign for development of Baghdad oil field

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Baghdad: Iraq will sign a contract with a Chinese company for the development of an oil field east of the capital, Baghdad, a spokesperson of the oil ministry said. Assem Jihad said Iraq will sign the contract with ZhenHua Oil to develop the southern section of Eastern Baghdad oilfield. He said the agreement aims to drive up production from the ... Read More »

Iraq’s only Kurdish airline takes off with Europe flight

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Iraq — Iraq’s only Kurdish airline launched on Monday with a flight to Sweden, after years of delays because of the offensive by the terror group Daesh in the country. Officials hope Fly Erbil’s take-off is a sign of changing fortunes in the autonomous region, which has suffered from the militants onslaught and a failed independence bid. Daesh delayed our ... Read More »

Baghdad Entrepreneurs get Communal Space and Resources

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The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) recently completed a mission to Baghdad, where Christophe Michels, Managing Director and Eng. Rasmi Al-Jabri Deputy Chairman, visited The Station, Iraq’s first combined workspace in Iraq, providing a hub for artistic & tech entrepreneurs to develop and expand business projects. Located in Baghdad, The Station’s vision is to create a healthy work environment by ... Read More »

Iraq, Chinese firm to sign for development of Baghdad oil field

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Baghdad: Iraq will sign on Wednesday a contract with a Chinese company for the development of an oil field east of the capital, Baghdad, a spokesperson of the oil ministry said. Assem Jihad said Iraq will sign the contract with ZhenHua Oil to develop the southern section of Eastern Baghdad oilfield. He said the agreement aims to drive up production ... Read More »

Iraq exported more than 100m oil barrels in April: ministry

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Baghdad: Iraq exported more than 100 million barrels of oil during the month of April, the oil ministry said on Wednesday, noting that revenues exceeded USD6.5 billion. Ministry spokesman, Assem Jihad, quoting a final statistic by the state-run oil marketing company, SOMO, said exports stood at 100.197.197 barrels during the month of April, yielding revenues of USD6.501.695.000. That was a ... Read More »

Abadi meets Allawi over coming govt consultations

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Iraqi PM Haider Abadi met with Vice President Iyad Allawi for consultations over the formation of the next government. Abadi’s press office said in a statement that the two sides “discussed the developments in the political process and the formation of the next government on a national basis.” Both sides tackled the possibility of integrating Allawi’s National Alliance into the ... Read More »

Iraq’s al-Sadr, promising reform, is constrained by Iran

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BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr, the maverick Shiite cleric whose political coalition beat out Iran’s favored candidates to come in first in national elections, says he wants to form a government that puts Iraqis first. The electoral commission announced early Saturday that the militant-turned-populist preacher, who has long spoken out against both Iranian and US influence in Iraq, had defeated his ... Read More »

Muqtada al-Sadr: Iraq’s militia leader turned champion of poor

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Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr surprised the world when his Sairoon Alliance captured more parliamentary seats than any other party or alliance in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, in a remarkable comeback after being sidelined for years by Iranian-backed rivals. Once known as a staunch anti-American militia leader, al-Sadr has rebranded himself in recent years as a patriotic champion of the poor and ... Read More »

Australia Increases Support to Stabilization in Iraq

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The Government of Australia has contributed an additional USD 13.5 million (AUD 18 million) to the UNDP Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas of Iraq liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This brings Australia’s total contribution since 2015 to USD 16.5 million (AUD 22 million). UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, ... Read More »

Central Bank of Iraq Auctions $146,004,033

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Baghdad: The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) currency auction on May 8 registered $146,004,033 in sales, a 45.59% volume increase from the US $100,281,900 sold by Iraqi Dinar, credit and transfer at the previous auction. The latest auction was attended by 45 banks and 9 remittance companies. The same institutions attended the auction held on May 8 compared to the ... Read More »