Iraqi Kurdish Nepotism Reaches a New Peak

Chraxan Rafiq, ex wife of former Iraqi Kurdish Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami, in an exclusive interview says “Nechirvan Barzani threatened me to kill me if I do not divorce Ashti Hawrami” as Masoud Barzani had said she is a problem to oil dossier.

Ashti Hawrami was 45 years older than her.

Chraxan Rafiq says she was like a daughter to Barzani family till she decided to get married with Hawrami without returning to Barzani family, then they cursed her for not getting back to them to whether getting married with Hawrami or not.

Chraxan has exclusively given an interview to Draw Media, while sitting in Masif, a few metres from Barzani family. The interview is very rare.

In the interview she makes allegations concerning the missing 1 billion dollars.

She also shows documents that allege a group of Kurdish smugglers affiliated to the former Natural Resources minister has smuggled large sums of money to Dubai and the Arab Emirates.

Link to the full article in Kurdish

Whether Chraxan’s allegations are for personal revenge or other motivations, or whether they are true or not remains unclear. Looking into the German-Iraqi woman’s personal story shows enough.

In 2016 – after her divorce – she was sentenced by a court in Erbil to four years in prison on Wednesday over allegations of selling bank cheques.

Massoud Barzani issued a detention order on May 17  ۲۰۱۶ for Rafiq over allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds, according to the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Nonetheless, she was never imprisoned.

The KDP’s official website said a detention order was issued for Rafiq as part of Massoud Barzani’s reform plan to fight corruption.

In January 2016 Kurdish authorities reportedly have seized some $۲۵۰ million belonging to Chra Rafiq, the Wusha newspaper reported. How did this woman even receive such a capital?

Two years later, in 2018, she reappeared, propped up by KDP media as some known figure donating money to the poor.

While she kept bashing Ashti and claimed she was filing a law suit against Hawrami in the United Kingdom for corruption.

At the same time, she kept praising Masoud Barzani and posting his pictures on her social media accounts. She allegedly gave back some of the millions Ashti Hawrami gave her to the KDP in return for not getting the sentence implemented and the other corruption cases against her to be frozen.

Chraxan used to have a private jet as well. It is unclear whether she still owns it.


Missing Oil Revenues

The Kurdish opposition politicians say billions of dollars are missing from oil export revenue. Kurdish MP and Finance and Economic Affairs Committee deputy Ali Hama Salih said in April ۲۰۱۶, $۱٫۱۰۷ billion from Iraqi Kurdistan oil revenue missing in 1st Quarter of 2016.

Salih said lawmakers have evidence that shows Hawrami cost the region hundreds of millions of dollars.

Many Kurdish politicians and observers believe that many of the oil industry projects in Iraqi Kurdistan are conducted in a non-transparent way. Some have even described them as secretive.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani has been accused by critics of amassing huge wealth for his family instead of serving the population. Barzani’s son is the Kurdistan region’s intelligence chief and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani is the prime minister.


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