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65 illegal oil refineries still in operation in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

65 illegal oil refineries still in operation in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan

2019/06/06 | 16:25

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)- Illegal oil refinery Iraqi Kurdistan, 2019. Photo: Screengrab/NRT TV

HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— There are still 65 out of 124 illegal refineries in Erbil province in Iraqi Kurdistan and they are still in operation and smuggle oil.

According to NRT the illicit refineries do not had any legal, environmental and health conditions.

The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Interior Ministry announced on Sunday that it was forming a task force to shut down illegal oil refineries operating in Iraqi Kurdistan Region.











The Interior Ministry said in its ministerial order that it would form three special joint forces in the provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, and Duhok to close the illegal refineries.

“Following on a decision issued on August 5, 2018 by the Council of Ministers presidency and the Kurdistan Region Oil and Gas Council, we will start implementing that decision according to the authority we have been given in accordance with the Interior Ministry’s Law Number 6 issued in 2009,” the statement said.

In Sulaimani, the joint task force will include 20 members of General Directorate of Defense and Emergency, 10 members of Sulaimani Asayish Directorate, 10 members of Directorate of Police for Oil and Gas Protection, five members of Sulaimani Police Directorate, and five members of Directorate of Environment and Forest Police.

The task forces for Erbil and Duhok will each also include 20 members of the Zeravani Peshmerga Command which belongs to Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani, along with similar levels of support from the other forces.

The ministry announced earlier this year that they were working to shut down all illegal refineries in Kurdistan Region.

More than 200 illegal refineries are believed to be in operation in the Kurdistan Region, despite repeated efforts since 2008 to close them.

They contribute to pollution and leaks can harm agricultural land and water resources. Their products are also often trafficked by smugglers.

In 2015, a Kurdish environmentalist has warned that there are 170 illegal refineries in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, which are a major source of pollution.

Kurdistan considered as the most corrupted part of Iraq. According to Kurdish lawmakers and leaked documents billions of dollars are missing from Iraqi Kurdistan’s oil revenues.

Massoud Barzani, who served as president of Kurdistan region from 2005-2017, and still acting as KDP party leader, has been routinely accused by critics of amassing huge wealth from oil business 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.

The Talabani family including Jalal Talabani’s wife, Hero Ibrahim and her sons Bafel (Pavel) and Qubad and their relatives alongside other PUK leaders like Kosrat Rasul and his sons, accused by observers and politicians of amassing huge wealth from oil business in Kirkuk areas.

According to local and international analysts the lack of control mechanisms in Iraqi Kurdistan makes it a paradise for illegal financial activities by the Kurdish ruling leaders.

Read more about Corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan

Copyright © 2019, respective author or news agency, Ekurd.net | nrttv.com

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