Seven PMU members working at a checkpoint arrested

Salahuddin, 8 June 2020 – removing one of the checkpoints in Tuz Khumatu district - Photo from Tuz Khurmatu Administration PR

The arrested seven individuals who were working at a checkpoint in Tu Khurmatu district (south of Kirkuk), were unlawfully levying tolls on transport trucks. The tolls consisted of an amount of 15,000 Iraqi Dinars (about $12,60).

The seven were arrested by a special force at the checkpoint between the subdistricts of Amerli and Uzem yesterday (26 July), and were taken to Baghdad.

The checkpoint was set up in 2015. They were taking a fee from transport trucks

Tuz Khurmatu chief of police, Hussein Ali, told KirkukNow: “The checkpoint was set up in 2015. They were taking a fee from transport trucks; 15,000 Dinars from each truck. But they were arrested yesterday by a government force that came Baghdad by a decree from the Integrity Commission, and were taken to Baghdad.”

Trucks transporting gravel, sand, cinder blocks, cement and other building material going through the checkpoint were made to pay a toll.

Hussein Ali added: “The checkpoint still exists and operates, and even still takes the fee. They are awaiting an investigation by the Integrity Commission. But there is a chance that the government will remove the checkpoint.”

Amerli subdistrict is part of Tuz Khurmatu district in Salahuddin province. Several different security forces are stationed there, among them units from the Iraqi army, PMU, Federal Police and Rapid Response Police.

A political source who has knowledge on the checkpoint said: “Internal Police guard the checkpoint, but they have nothing to do with levying the toll. That’s why the force that came from Baghdad […] only arrested the employees of the checkpoint.”

He added that “the checkpoint had been set up by PMU, and the ones who were arrested are seven employees who belong to the PMU.”

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