More Syrian Officials Sent to Trial on Corruption Charges
By Nabil Al Mulhem
Syrian authorities announced Thursday that they had unearthed two more cases of corruption in a crackdown that came within an anti-corruption campaign undertaken by the government dubbed as “the clean hands campaign.”
Sources at the Central Commission for Audit and Inspection revealed that financial violations worth of millions of Syrian pounds have been uncovered by the apparatus at the fuel corporation branch in the Raqqa province to the north east of Damascus.
According to the commission and press reports, officials at the branch are accused of reducing the amount of cooking gas in the cylinders they sell to the public. Consequently, the authorities arrested Salah Muftah, the official in charge of the warehouses of the branch.
According to the state-owned daily, Tishrin, the embezzled money is estimated at 25 million pounds ($500.000).
A similar case was disclosed a year ago, when a group of employees at the fuel corporation branch in the Reef province were accused of embezzling an amount of one billion Syrian pounds of public money.
Tishrin also reported that the deputy director-general of the Damascus international fair and head of the national lottery, Abdel-Majid Haw, has been accused of corruption and his case referred to the court for economic security.
Haw and three of his aides: Hassah Issa, Adnan Qassimi and Hassan Zeer stand accused of misappropriation of public funds and corruption.
Haw, who was deputy director for 15 years is accused in particular of issuing false checks worth more than 10 million Syrian pounds (200,000 dollars).
The Damascus Fair company brought in 1.4 billion Syrian pounds (30 million dollars) to the nation's treasury in 1999, according to the AFP.
Three former senior officials, including former prime minister Mahmoud Zu’bi, who later committed suicide, were guilty of irregularities over an order for Airbus planes.
In addition to Zu’bi, former deputy prime minister for economic affairs Salim Yassin and former transport minister Mufid Abdul Karim were named in an official inquiry, according to the sources.
The clean hands campaign has been underway in Syria since March – Albawaba.com
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