Fake companies a growing phenomenon in
Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan
June 23, 2012
Diya City, Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan region of Iraq. Photo:
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Three citizens
accidentally uncovered a fake company in
Sulaimaniyah when they signed a contract to buy a
house in Diya City, a residential compound built by
the Barez Company.
Yaseen Mahmood Rasheed, executive director of Barez,
says, “An Iranian company with the help of a few
Sulaimaniyah residents set up a fake company,
selling housing units built by other companies.”
Rasheed said that the three citizens were sold
houses in the Diya City complex after paying $65,000
and filling out applications. It was only when the
citizens visited Barez that they found out the
company they had been dealing with didn’t exist.
Barez has filed a complaint.
“These companies take the money and leave Kurdistan.
The money will be gone,” said Rasheed, pointing to
the weakness of security forces and the investment
board in this regard. He suggested residents of the
Kurdistan Region not sign contracts with housing
companies on their own.
Capt. Sarkawt Ahmed, spokesperson for the
Sulaimaniyah police department, confirmed the story,
saying, “We have arrested two people who sold
housing units from other companies. The third person
is an Iranian citizen and has escaped, but an arrest
warrant has been issued.”
Rasheed added, “We provided the name of the fake
investor to the security forces. The ‘investor’ told
people that one of the housing projects, which
belongs to another company, was his and tried to
sell the units.”
A source from the security forces told Rudaw,
“Whenever we are given a name, we investigate the
name and the claims. Besides that, we investigate
advertisements made to sell housing units.”
Aziz Saeed, supervisor of investment projects at the
Board of Investment-Sulaimaniyah, says the presence
of the fake companies in the city has become a
phenomenon. He described one of the most recent fake
companies, Balinda, which did not have a license
from the board.
“Balinda was advertising for a housing project under
the name Greenland Houses,” Saeed said. “The company
was taking people to the housing projects of other
companies in order to get them to sign a contract
According to the Board of Investment-Sulaimaniyah,
there are currently only nine housing projects in
the city. Owners of housing project companies are
now worried that fake companies will sell their
units to people and create problems for them.
Capt. Abdulkarim, with the investigation department
of the security forces, says they receive many
reports on this issue. “According to our
some of the reports are correct,” he said. “There
are companies working on one project but advertising
The spokesperson of the Kurdistan Investors Union
believes the increasing number of fake companies in
Sulaimaniyah is dangerous. He warns that if thorough
investigations are not carried out, the phenomenon
will spread to other parts of Kurdistan.
“They counterfeit investment contracts in order to
get people to believe them,” he said, noting how
easy it is for people to be deceived.
Farman Ghareeb, director of the Sulaimaniyah
Investment Board, says, “It is a disaster that our
forms and applications are copied and
counterfeited.” Ghareeb asks people not to sign any
contracts with companies they have doubts about
before consulting with the board.
According to the Kurdistan Presidency Reform
Committee, housing companies have to finish 10
percent of their project before they can advertise.
However, Rasheed says, “Some contractors violate
this law and get people to sign contracts before
they even start the project.”
By Nawzad Mahmoud
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