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Syrian pilgrims exposed to embezzlement: documents

Zaman Al Wasl Leaks | 2017-08-07 03:33:23
Syrian pilgrims exposed to embezzlement: documents

(Zaman Al Wasl)- During the pilgrimage seasons of the years (2013, 2014, 2015), nearly $ 400,000 of the accounts of the Makkah office of the Syrian Supreme Hajj Committee disappeared. However, these funds were soon recovered. There may be other amounts, which are close to the value, which have also disappeared and have not yet been disclosed.

That is what leaked documents obtained by Eqtsad tells the story of accounting negligence and administrative errors, may amount to misappropriation. The Syrian National Coalition knew and formed the commission of inquiry into the irregularities and abuses of the Syrian Hajj Committee, but the results of the investigation were kept secret. Some of those inquired are still working in the committee.

What happened during these Hajj seasons?

It began when the former director of Makkah's office, Abdullah Aqibik accusing his predecessor, Mohammed Khalid Koki, of being responsible for missing up to $ 400,000. When confronted with this, koki returned the majority of the $ 376,000, while another part, about $ 30,000, was deposited in a Saudi Arabian Airlines account. The last amount is still there without Makkah office being able to restore it due of the bureaucratic procedures of the Saudi airline.

Was it a embezzlement or just accounting and administrative errors?

The answer to this is still unknown. A former member of the Hajj Committee, spoke to us on condition of anonymity, that the activities of the former director of Makkah's office, Mohammed Khalid Koki, go beyond accounting errors and raise suspicion of embezzlement. But the source confirms that he has proof that there are amounts up to 500 thousand US dollars missing from the accounts of the Office of Makkah during the period of Koki management.

Koki’s back was covered and he was not held accountable because he was affiliated with an Islamist trend which has a lot of power within the SNC.

The source explains that figures in that trend insisted that what Koki did is only administrative errors and accounting negligence and does not amount to suspicion of embezzlement.

However, the source confirmed that Koki was still carrying out some tasks in favor of the Syrian Hajj Committee, under the guidance of its deputy head, Samer Birqdar, even after the accounting negligence, which amounts to nearly $ 400,000.

The source stressed that he does not accuse the Damascus Islamic current, referred to, of involvement in corruption (Cookie), but at the same time, and because of the loyalty (Cookie) to that trend, tried some of his symbols to roll the matter, according to the source.

We note here that Samer Birqdar is still managing the Higher Hajj Committee as Vice-Chairman of the Committee.
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