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Tunisia confiscates property of corrupt businessmen and official

July 1, 2017 at 12:58 pm

Tunisian flag is raised up to the highest flagpole in Tunis, Tunisia [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s Ministry of State Property and Real Estate announced the confiscation of property on Friday belonging to five businessmen and one customs official following graft and corruption charges, Anadolu has reported.

The move was based on data, official documents, research and legal advice, the head of the relevant ministry committee told a press conference. Muneer Al-Farshishi named the businessmen as Al-Habib Hawwas, Kamal Al-Shamli, Al-Sahbi Saadallah, Shukri Breeri and Mabruk Khashnawi; the customs official was named as Samir Rachid.

“These people had direct relations and common work through which they got rights and gains from businessmen whose property was confiscated in May,” he said.

Legal measures to move their property to the state treasury will begin soon.

The Tunisian government has launched an anti-corruption campaign against businessmen. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has pledged to “continue this battle to the end,” noting that there is “no compromise” in this issue. “It’s either corruption or the state,” he insisted, “corruption or Tunisia.”

Ten well-known businessmen were arrested a month ago over their involvement in corruption, smuggling and carrying out security violations. They were placed under house arrest.

On Wednesday, the government in Tunis announced the freezing of bank accounts and property belonging to the prominent businessman and politician Salim Al-Riyahi, the head of the Free Nation Union Party and the African Club.