The former governor of Iraq’s northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk and a staunch supporter of the Kurdish independence referendum has reportedly fled to the United States with millions of petrodollars.
Ali al-Husseini, a spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Units – commonly known by the Arabic word Hashd al-Sha’abi, said on Tuesday that Najmiddin Karim was receiving 10 million dollars from the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, over petroleum smuggling, Arabic-language Babil24 news website reported.
He added that there is substantial evidence that Karim has left Iraq through Erbil, which is the capital city of Kurdistan region and located approximately 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Baghdad.
Husseini noted that all Kurdish leader well knew about Karim’s misconduct, and the fact that he was being paid by Barzani over oil smuggling from Kirkuk, but kept mum.
The Hashd al-Sha’abi spokesman added that Kurdish officials must file a lawsuit against the former Kirkuk governor and Barzani so that they would stand trial for stolen funds.
On September 14, the Iraqi parliament voted to dismiss Karim after the provincial council voted to take part in the Kurdish independence referendum irrespective of the central government’s strong opposition to the secession bid.—Agencies