DAMASCUS (AFP) – Syrian Prime Minister Mohammed Naji Otri has sacked more than 50 officials for corruption, an official daily said on Sunday, amid growing newspaper charges of the scourge affecting state bodies.
Forty-four officials were fired from state companies — electricity, tobacco, communications — while nine worked in various ministries.
The Ath-Thawra newspaper also said “a forger who was signing official documents by falsifying the signature of the finance minister” had also been arrested in the northwestern town of Latakia.
Ath-Thawra also reported that employees working for the oil department and the railways in the northern town of Hasakah had also been stealing domestic heating oil and fuel since 2002.
Two other corrupt networks had been dismantled recently in the same town’s electricity and animal feed companies, the paper said.
“Government appeals to fight against corruption are starting to bear fruit. Inquiries have been opened into several (other) cases,” it added.
In recent months, official newspapers have denounced widespread corruption in major sectors of the economy which they say costs the state millions of Syrian pounds.
Seven years ago, a major anti-corruption campaign resulted in the suicide of a former prime minister and the jailing for 10 years of a former deputy prime minister and a transport minister.