Ex-minister arrested in Italy's embezzlement probe of funds for Iraq waterway project

ROME – Italian police have arrested a former environment minister for allegedly embezzling 3.4 million euros ($4.6 million) from ministry funds earmarked for a water resources project in Iraq.

Tax police in the northern city of Ferrara said Corrado Clini, who served in the government of ex-premier Mario Monti, was put under house arrest. An Italian businessman was also put under house arrest Monday.

Clini remained in the environment ministry as a top administrator after Monti’s government ended. Tax police said the alleged embezzlement involved false billing from a Dutch company to a Ferrara engineering firm, as well as transferring funds, through Caribbean companies, to Swiss bank accounts.

The probe is one of several unrelated corruption investigations involving former ministers or politicians.