The Bashar al-Assad regime has decided to put a precautionary freeze on the mobile and immobile assets of the former General Director of the General Petroleum Corporation, Ali Abbas, and his wife and children.
This came in accordance with a decision issued by the Assad government’s Finance Ministry, a copy of which was published on the pro-Assad website, Damas Post. An image of the decision showed it was issued on Aug. 12, 2018, and had been signed by Finance Minister Mamoun Hamdan.
The text of the decision did not clarify the reason for the precautionary freeze of Abbas’s assets, but the Damas Post website quoted “informed sources” in the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources as saying that “the decision is related to reasons connected with contracts which were signed with private companies working in the oil sector during the period he managed the General Petroleum Corporation.” The website did not list these companies.
Prime Minister, Imad Khamis, in July issued a decision to remove Abbas from the administration of the General Petroleum Corporation without giving the reasons.
The regime’s Finance Minister periodically freezes assets, but mainly targets regime opponents. The decisions are justified by involvement in “terrorism,” and Alsouria Net has previously published images of the decisions issued by the ministry in which assets of entire families were frozen.
The decisions have affected former government and ministry officials, opposition figures, defectors from the army, artists, and well-known media figures, including the former minister Asa’ad Mustafa, the former Prime Minister Riad Hijab, journalist Faysal al-Qassem, Syrian astronaut Mohamed Fares, officer Riad al-Asa’ad, and the officer Saleem Idriss.
The list has also included international artist Ali Ferzat, the singer Asala Nasri, and the artists Fares al-Helou, Yara Sabri, Kinda Alloush, Samer al-Masri, Abdel Hakim Qtaifan, Jamal Suleiman, the late actress Mai Skaf, Abed Fahed, Fadwa Suleiman, the journalist Zeina al-Yazigi and the musician Malek al-Jandali.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.