Why was Bahaa Abdul Hadi arrested, tortured in complete impunity, and illegally imprisoned while some of the most corrupted are still roaming free? One of the most prominent Iraqi journalists is raising questions on the case of Bahaa Abdul Hadi, head of Iraqi fintech company Qi Card, who has been imprisoned following allegations of financial corruption. Bahaa Abdul Hadi, arrested in Sep. 2020, has been recently granted bail and has been released from detention in March 2023. Qi Card is the leading electronic payment service provider in Iraq, supporting salary and pension payments to millions of Iraqis.
Unlawful detention and incarceration of Bahaa Abdul Hadi
Now, Mohamed Elsayed Mohsen, a prominent senior Iraqi journalist based in the UK, has called upon Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to investigate the unlawful detention and incarceration of Bahaa Abdul Hadi, who uncovered massive financial fraud and was persecuted and jailed simply because he was a whistleblower.
Mohsen, who hosts the popular Mankoul show, published a video in which he provides additional information on the massive corruption uncovered by Bahaa Abdul Hadi and his illegal arrest and persecution. Mankoul explains that thanks to the introduction of Qi Card’s fingerprint technology, Bahaa Abdul Hadi managed to uncover 330,000 fake individuals who were receiving illegal salaries and pensions from the state. These fake accounts, which cost the Iraqi government a staggering 100B Iraqi dinars per month, have been fleecing the pension fund coffers for over seven years.
Following the discovery of the fraud and Bahaa Abdul Hadi relentless effort to put an end to it, he was subjected to a massive attack by the government, interested parties and paid media. Mohsen highlighted the absurd situation in which the whistleblower ended up in prison, while none of the culprits were even charged or investigated.
“Mankoul” show episode
In his video, Mohsen urges current Iraqi PM al-Sudani to rectify the situation by investigating Abdul Hadi unjustified incarceration. He further calls on the government to investigate the massive corruption and fraud in which people who have no entitlement whatsoever to money from these funds and have not contributed a single Dinar to them, are enjoying huge amounts at the expense of hard working, legitimate Iraqi employees. Mohsen calls this situation outrageous and very dangerous for the state. It is an unacceptable situation which has cost the state an exorbitant amount of money. To make matters worse, Mohsen emphasizes that the culprits in this massive corruption are the very same people who are supposed to safeguard the funds and protect the state’s interests. Mohsen names 3 groups involved – the political martyrs group, the political prisoners group, and the Rafah group.
Mohsen states that this is a constitutional problem that should be solved by specialists who need to investigate the matter and file a case before the Federal Court against those involved with the retirement fund scheme. He ended his video by stating that he hopes al-Sudani will take these two matters to his attention and that he will be serious in investigating them and resolving them.