At the end of last month, a number of workers in the Libyan “Sahara Bank” were able to exploit their positions, enter into client accounts and seize millions of dinars, at a time when official reports indicate a widespread waste of public money in the various sectors of the state.
And the incident, which the Libyan Public Prosecutor has begun investigating, is one of the crimes of embezzlement of public money in the country, which has increased over the past decade. It starts with corruption within state institutions, involving a number of ministers, to the robbery of land and public buildings, in addition to the robbery of employees of the financial custody under their hands.
Since 2012, Libya’s rankings have fallen to the worst, reaching its position among the ten most corrupt countries according to the “Corruption Perceptions Index” released this year by Transparency International. This prompted Najla al-Manqoush, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the interim “unity” government led by Abdel Hamid al-Dabaiba, to say that “corruption is rampant in Libya.”
The Public Prosecutor has uncovered one of the crimes of theft of depositors’ money and said that investigations have established the circumstances of the involvement of a number of employees of the “Sahara Bank” in the embezzlement of two million eighty-three dinars by access the accounts. system; use of fraudulent procedures. The prosecution indicated that he ordered the detention of all the perpetrators of the corruption incident in the bank until the rest of the case was settled. Three days later, the Public Prosecutor’s Office unveiled a new case of theft of public funds through the involvement of a gang in the counterfeiting of banking instruments. And use it to withdraw state funds from the accounts of some entities funded by the general budget. The prosecution said the perpetrators submitted these instruments to the bank and obtained more than 739,000 dinars from the accounts of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Production Department of the Military Supply and Financial Services Control Authority in the city of Asaba.
In last year’s report, Libya ranked 173 out of 180, 5 places lower compared to 2019, in which it was 168. Forms of corruption range from benefiting from public money, obtaining commissions and dual careers, in a way described as “massive waves aimed at profit in a way that is unprecedented”.
It is remarkable that everyone in Libya talks about corruption, starting with the head of the government and ending with the citizens, experts and heads of the supervisory bodies in Libya, but an official close to Dabaiba saw that the “unity” government almost the only government that dared to present a number of its ministers to investigate corruption incidents that ended with their imprisonment. On the issue, he pointed out that Dabaiba was not ashamed when he spoke of “the rampant corruption in a number of government sectors.” However, his opponents blamed him for the presence of officials in his government who were involved in corruption cases, but he stated that his government “rejects spoilers and does not tolerate it.” He said that corruption “does not cause huge losses for the national economy. . ”
And political analyst Abdul Azim Al-Bashti believes that “the money that members of the country’s legislature have received for years for free is going in the door of corruption.” Or an advantage, represented in conferences, meetings and meetings held by Libyan officials in many countries of the world. ”
Although these meetings are usually covered by the host countries, there are those who believe that the travels of representatives and members on official orders cost Libya millions.
There are many doors to corruption in Libya, given what specialists see as the “weakness of the state’s grip” and the failure to activate accountability, except for what is revealed to the Public Prosecution. Suleiman al-Shahoumi, a Libyan economist, spoke of the need to “dump the revenue of state-owned companies such as telecommunications and other state-owned investment companies as revenue into the state’s public treasury.” He said through his Facebook account: “It is not permissible for the Prime Minister to force these companies to cover the expenses he wants, or to transfer amounts to him to the account of the Council of Ministers for its disposal, or ask them to allocate amounts for expenditure on the basis of instructions, regardless of the reasons and reasons. ”
Al-Shahoumi believes that “these procedures deviate the company from the framework defined by law and make it an instrument in the hands of the government administration, and its board and its general assembly deviate from their prescribed role,” and continued: “It is a wide door to corruption, even if the intentions are good.” He appealed to the Audit Bureau to “move before it is too late, and not to have the matter presented in its annual report, after the incident has taken place and we have nothing left but to pour the spilled milk into the halls of the (national unity) government’s cabinet. “
The communication of the Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, to the Governor of the Central Bank, Al-Siddiq Al-Kabeer, also revealed that the prosecution’s investigations “proved the facts of falsification of data on medical services provided to patients. abroad, with the intention of obtaining $ 436 million, as well as other financial and administrative abuses. ” The bank requested that “any administrative or financial measures that result in the payment of the financial sums arising from the provision of medical services by medical institutions in Jordan in recent years be discontinued until the end of the legal proceedings.”
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