The General Customs Directorate has issued decisions calling for a precautionary freeze on the movable and immovable assets of a financier close to the regime and the wife of the president, Tarif Abdel Basset al-Akhras, as well as his children, Mohamed Murhaf al-Akhras, Diana al-Akhras, and Noura al-Akhras, and the founding partners and representatives of the Middle East Sugar Factories Company, which also had its assets frozen, as well as the assets of its executive director, Walid Bakri Dalati.
According to sources, the directorate issued 17 decisions, “to ensure the public treasury’s rights in terms of fines and fees incumbent on them” after cases related to “violations that led to lost fees,” according to customs sources. This violation relates to customs declarations of a customs item, declaring it as a customs item with a lower fee, which is considered a form of evasion.
According to reports on loyalist pages, the goods included in the violation were valued at 100 billion Syria pounds, and were subject to fees of 3.3 billion pounds, and fines of at least 13.7 billion pounds, all of which would go to the public treasury.
According to sources, the decisions also included a precautionary freeze on assets of the Julia Invest Sal Offshore company and the Taj Industrial Investments Company owned by Tarif and his children, as well as the al-Aliyat Limited Liability Company.
Akhras is considered to be an investment proxy of Asmaa al-Assad, controlling trade in a number of goods and foodstuffs, such as rice, sugar, bananas and others. He represents Asmaa in a large number of investments in real estate, the banking sector, and elsewhere.
Loyalist circles have recently circulated stories about Asmaa trying to transfer investments controlled by the Makhlouf family into the hands of her family members, primarily Tarif, in the context of alleged preparations to replace her husband as president.
This article was translated and 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.