Counterfeiting gang and expired food scheme busted in Baghdad

A decrease in terrorist activity has allowed police to pursue gangs trying to harm citizens in other ways. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

A decrease in terrorist activity has allowed police to pursue gangs trying to harm citizens in other ways. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

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Iraqi security forces arrested 10 suspects on Monday (July 4th), following a series of raids across Baghdad province.

Seven of the men are accused of counterfeiting Iraqi currency for financing terrorist groups, while three are accused of forging food expiration dates to sell expired goods to unsuspecting citizens.

"The security operation was based on testimonies given by a number of jailed terrorists who confirmed they were receiving money through a gang involved in counterfeiting currency," said Col. Moauyed Jubair of the Baghdad Police Command, adding that the informants "only gave information on one person".

Jubair told Mawtani that the security forces' subsequent investigations following up on the tip led to a raid on a house in the Jihad neighborhood in western Baghdad, where seven men were detained.

"Three of the detainees are ex-convicts who had been sentenced by the courts on charges related to the supply of weapons and explosives from outside the country for the benefit of one terrorist group," Jubair said. "The rest are other members of the counterfeit gang."

Iraqi forces found 230 million dinars of counterfeit money in the house, in addition to counterfeiting equipment that Jubair said was manufactured in a neighboring country and employed advanced, high-speed forgery technology.

Jubair said that police also discovered light weapons, two stolen cars and messages proving that the suspects were in contact with terrorists whose identities or affiliations have not yet been established, but are most likely the Asaeb Ahl al-Haq militia and al-Qaeda.

"The police have kept the detainees in custody for interrogation to identify the networks through which they released the counterfeit money into the streets," said Baghdad police spokesperson Mushtaq Taleb.

Criminal workshop profited over spoiled food

Iraqi police arrested three suspects in another security operation on Monday. The detainees are believed to be involved in a scheme to change food expiration dates in order to sell expired goods to the public.

Mahmoud al-Halfi, spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, said that police raided an industrial workshop in central Baghdad and discovered three people altering the packaging of various canned foods and children's sweets.

"The persons in question admitted their crime of changing the expiration dates of the foodstuffs and selling them to both adults and children," al-Halfi told Mawtani.

Khalid Abdullah, a member of the Iraqi parliament's defense and security committee, praised the Iraqi security forces' performance and their success in capturing the suspects.

"The drop in terrorist operations and the weakening of the terrorists' hold gave the police the chance to pursue such gangs who are tampering with people's lives and livelihoods," Abdullah said. "Citizens should help such operations by informing on suspects' actions."

Hassan Sayyad, a 41-year-old government employee in Baghdad, said, "Those gangs are germs that had grown inside dark corners during the period of terrorist hegemony. Today, they must be chased and wiped out."

"Those gangs have caused a huge disruption in the market and many citizens have become victims of their counterfeit money," said Samar Ahmad, 38, a Ramadi housewife.

"But now the terrorists are in the hands of the law," she said. "They will not be able to harm citizens anymore."

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  • READER COMMENTS

    ايسر قاسم

    2011-10-14

    The Iraqi security forces are now capable of protecting civilians because of the experience they have and their great bravery against enemies at full blast. This is quite clear in the preemptive operations they executed against terrorist organizations, before they could target innocent people. The military leadership is still looking for new and innovative methods and techniques to raise the performance of the security forces.

  • جواد علي

    2011-8-10

    The spread of counterfeit currency in the country was the main reason behind many of the problems that the Iraqi citizens are suffering; and it made them lose confidence in their own national currency. The criminal gangs spread everywhere in Iraq are the ones to blame for that. They are working on forging the Iraqi currency and harming the country and its interests. This cannot be accepted, because it will have a bad impact on everybody. I believe that the criminal gangs that promote counterfeit currency are an integral part of the terrorist gangs and organizations that are continuously working on putting obstacles and creating confusion for the ordinary Iraqis who are already suffering from a lot of problems because of the difficulties caused by terrorist and criminal acts. Today, however, I am very hopeful that these difficulties that Iraqis are suffering will be monitored and dealt with.

  • حمد حسين

    2011-8-10

    These gangs that abuse the Iraqi currency, forge it and use it in the market are dangerous gangs, because they are behind the destruction of the economy, along with destroying the Iraqi currency and deceiving Iraqi citizens. These persons should be pursued and arrested in order to get the harshest punishment, because they are harming the entire country. I hope that the special departments will focus on these gangs and detect the origin of this counterfeit money in order to get rid of it. We don’t want the era of Saddam’s rule to return, where counterfeit money was prevailing in the market.

  • سيف الدين عبدالله

    2011-8-7

    I hope that our security forces will play their role in this dangerous matter and would work hard to hunt down the member of these criminal gangs, strike their hideouts and destroy them. The majority of Iraqi governorates and their markets suffer from the damage caused to them because of the spread of counterfeit currency. This money has caused the deterioration of the Iraqi economy and the fall of the national currency of our country. I hope that we get rid of this phenomenon as soon as possible by destroying these gangs, which are spread all over Iraq.

  • عادل كريم

    2011-7-25

    During previous years, Iraq was exposed to many terrorist attacks that targeted all aspects of life. This was due to political riots and security unrest. Thus, many criminals from around the world have exploited the current situation in order to undermine Iraq, such as money counterfeiters who have settled in Iraq in order to carry out their criminal operations. In fact, the phenomenon of money counterfeiters did not exist in Iraq during previous decades. However, today it has started to spread rapidly through these gangs that have adopted counterfeiting as a job. In fact, we have always heard about this phenomenon in financial and trade markets. And there has been a large category of market and shops owners who have suffered from this problem, because they have been the victims of forging operations, especially with their lack of expertise. Sometimes, some shops owners who have enough expertise have discovered cases of forgery. Thus, we the citizens hope to arrest all the gangs of counterfeiters that have spread all over the country. In fact, these gangs can destroy the Iraqi economy, due to the difficulties that have faced the Iraqi traders, especially when making a deal with the other traders from the other countries, due to their fear of counterfeit money, which has currently become spread in Iraq. And after the stability of the security conditions in Iraq, most of the terrorist organizations that have carried out criminal operations have been arrested. Thus, they have become unable to harm the citizens. That’s why the security forces are now able to pursue the money counterfeiters gangs that have damaged people’s wealth. And they have succeeded in arresting many of these gangs by following suspicious movements, because these gangs have affected the Iraqi market due to the spread of counterfeit currency. Thus, we hope to get rid of these gangs

  • محمد

    2011-7-7

    God will have His way with the oppressors.