BREAKING: Iraqi Defense Minister is receiving welfare in Sweden, investigated by police

USA:s försvarsminister Mark Esper tillsammans med al-Shammari. Foto: CC BY 2.0 / U.S. Secretary of Defense/Nicole Mejia
  • Torsdag 21 Nov 2019 2019-11-21
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Najah al-Shammari, Defense Minister of Iraq, as well as his wife, are both on Swedish welfare. The top Iraqi politician, who became a Swedish citizen in 2015, is currently under investigation for welfare fraud, a police source tells Nyheter Idag.

Najah al-Shammari’s current registered residence is in a suburb of Stockholm, despite him being the Defense Minister of Iraq. Al-Shammari is also a Swedish citizen, something which he achieved in 2015, after six years in Sweden. A story which Nyheter Idag revealed earlier in the week using legal documents and several sources, one being AFP journalist Ammar Karim, based in Baghdad.

Further reading: The Iraqi Defence Minister is a Swedish citizen

Being registered at the wrong address is a criminal offence in Sweden. Al-Shammari and his wife are also investigated for welfare fraud.

Despite working as Defense Minister, al-Shammari still receives welfare from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). Neither al-Shammari nor his wife have a registered income the last couple of years.

In their application for welfare from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, the couple also claims that they have no income.

A police source tells Nyheter Idag that there is an ongoing investigation into al-Shammari and his wife.

– Both he and his wife are on welfare, says the police source.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency is responsible for paying out the welfare to the Iraqi Defense Minister and wife. On a monthly basis they are receiving in total circa 9 400 Swedish Krona, or $976, according to the police source.

– In their application, which they have both signed, it is stated that they both are living on welfare from the local government.

The police were alerted on the matter of the Iraqi top politician and his wife by an anonymous tip in early November, a little more than a week prior to Nyheter Idag’s first article on Najah al-Shammari.

”The informant is anonymous. He/she claims that all of the family (al-Shammari’s) has been living in Iraq for several years. The husband is the Defense Minister of Iraq. They return to Sweden for a week or so every year, doing so they maintain the perception of them living in Sweden. The children are supposedly registered at some private school in Sweden. The apartment is supposedly rented out to someone else”, reads the police report.

Further, the Iraqi Defense Minister have been a suspect in nine different cases with the Swedish police since 2015.

Early November, a different offence was reported to the police. This time, it is Najah al-Shammari who is the complaintant. This report confirms that al-Shammari is living in Iraq, while having his registered residence in a Stockholm suburb.

– Someone has ordered different products (online) to send to his address, according to a relative he has been abroad since January 2019, says the police source.

Nyheter Idag has reached out to relatives of Najah al-Shammari. A female, seemingly his daughter, answered when Nyheter Idag called, but hung up when asked about al-Shammari.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency has also opened up an investigation, says the police source.

Translation: Pelle Zackrisson

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