Government authorities have made new moves to combat corruption within customs and at border crossings.
Authorities have placed precautionary seizures on movable and immovable funds against a senior customs broker and suspended a number of workers in customs border secretariats of the Yabous border with Lebanon, the Nassib border with Jordan. One employee at the Damascus Customs Directorate was arrested.
Economist Muhammad Haji Bakri told SY 24, “Over decades, customs and border crossings were the most corrupt agencies in Syria. Civil servants appointed there were calculated by decision-makers, and they were a means of extreme wealth.”
He added that “what is happening today in customs is a message from Assad in light of the deteriorating economic conditions in the country, that the fight against corruption is ongoing and continuing, and that he is the first and last decision-maker for the day in everything that concerns the state and its appointments.”
He pointed out “most of the appointments today go through Asma al-Assad, who holds all economic joints of the country in her hand.”
He stressed that “this system cannot fight corruption, because it is its creation and education, and therefore its continuation is the cornerstone of Assad’s continued rule.”
Al-Watan newspaper said that the campaign comes within the Assad policy to combat corruption.
Sources within the customs agency expect that there will be further detentions and accountability.
On December 23, Washington imposed sanctions on Asma al-Assad, and her family, stressing that “the Assad family has accumulated their illicit wealth at the expense of the Syrian people, through their control of an extensive and illegal network with links In Europe, the Gulf, and other places, while the Syrian people, meanwhile, continue to wait with long lines to get bread, fuel, and medicine.
The US special envoy to Syria, Joel Rayburn, had previously described Asma al-Assad, as having turned into a “mafia leader,” expressing his belief that the Syrian regime would collapse quickly.
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.