Reports: Iraqi minister suspected of fraud in Sweden

U.S. & World

HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish media reports say Iraq’s defense minister, who holds dual Iraqi-Swedish citizenship, is suspected of illegally receiving benefits in Sweden.

Local media, citing a Swedish defense official, reported that Najah al-Shammari claimed child and housing support for years despite living in Baghdad. Al-Shammari and Swedish officials weren’t immediately available for comment.

Swedish news agency TT said Friday that al-Shammari, who assumed his post in June, is registered to live in a Stockholm suburb.

Swedish newspaper Expressen reported Saturday he moved to Sweden in 2011, received citizenship in 2015 and was reported to authorities, along with his wife, earlier this month for suspected benefits fraud. He allegedly continued to claim social payments years after returning to Iraq.

Sweden and its Nordic neighbors are known for providing generous social benefits.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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