The fuel crisis in southern Daraa province is deepening and getting worse day by day as no shipments have been delivered since last March and the majority of residents received only 50 liters of subsidized heating allowances during the winter season.
This was accompanied by the expansion of rampant corruption in the state-run Petroleum Storage and Distribution Company (SADCOB) into the open, as officials began to openly demand royalties from the owners of gas stations, and vowed to prevent the arrival of any liter if they are not paid a bribe.
Second Class Region
Private sources from inside and outside the Syrian regime’s fuel corporation confirmed to Zaman al-Wasl that the trio of corruption represented by “Ahmed Suweidan, Naim al-Jabr, and Abdo Khasharfa” are the ones who control the flow of fuel distribution operations to petrol stations in order to serve a larger circle whose roots go back to the Assad family.
The sources revealed that Suwaidan, a member of the People’s Assembly, imposes royalties on petrol station owners in order to obtain fuel allocations on the pretext that he is paying money to influential figures in the capital, Damascus, in order to send fuel to Daraa.
Suweidan emphasized in more than one place that the regime’s government considers Daraa’s residents as “second class”, and that is why he is forced to pay bribes to agree to send fuel.
According to the sources, Suwaidan’s tasks have become to collect and coordinate bribes and blackmail the owners of the stations.
In the event of non-payment, he crosses out the name of the station from the distribution schedule, in agreement with the director of the Daraa branch of SADCOB, Naim al-Jabr, and the deputy governor, Abdo Khasharfa, who plays the role of the functional governor by removing the names of the stations that refrain from paying and depriving them of their fuel allocations.
The Corruption circle did not stop at the trio of corruption in the province but rather included another member of the People’s Assembly, Farouk al-Hammadi, who is influential in the Assad family, who explicitly declared that he, Suwaidan, and Ammar al-Assad, stand behind Naim al-Jabr and no one can hold him accountable.
The sources stressed that the largest share of Daraa’s fuel cake goes to Ammar al-Assad, who has become a partner in many gas stations, bragging that he is the reason for delivering fuel to Daraa.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.