Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Syria: Accounts of Businessmen, Former Officials Frozen

Syria: Accounts of Businessmen, Former Officials Frozen

Tuesday, 17 September, 2019 - 06:15
Syrians use local money transfer and currency exchange centers to send and receive money. AFP file photo

Syrian opposition activists circulated on Monday copies of a government decision to freeze the bank accounts of former education minister Hazwan Allwaz and his Ukrainian wife for their alleged involvement in corruption cases worth 350 million Syrian liras.

“You will be surprised by the persons who will be held accountable in the next few days,” Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis told Parliament on Sunday.

The PM also threatened to track those who “benefited from the crisis in Syria by amassing large wealth,” saying a committee will be formed in every ministry to study previous contacts and learn of graft.

Despite no official confirmation on the government decision, sources said Damascus took a decision to freeze the bank accounts of the former education minister and 87 employees over contracts worth billions, inked with Syrian businessmen Mohammad Bara Qatirji and Mohammed Hamsho to purchase computers and other equipment for the ministry.

Last month, the Syrian opposition website Kuluna Shuraka (All4Syria) reported that measures were taken against Hamsho, a Syrian businessman with extensive links to the Syrian government and the Assad family.

Other sources said the current campaign, led by first wife Asama Assad, aims to crack down on prominent businessmen linked to Mohammed Makhlouf, the uncle of Bashar Assad.

The sources said that the former education minister is close to Hamsho.

Editor Picks