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MANY, including me, have been asking why the names of high-profile Arab officials did not appear in the recently leaked ‘Panama Papers’, which were published by independent Western newspapers, about the soaring wealth of several high-profile politicians, sports individuals and artists, and their deposits in what is known as tax havens.
In Iceland, the prime minister was forced to resign because of the leakage. In England, the prime minister was obliged to defend the wealth of his father. Behold! The scandal did not touch a high-profile politician in Britain, but it touched his father and the politician was forced to respond.
Kuwait has always been the ‘grazing field’ of corruptors including members of the executive and legislative authorities and traders … According to the ‘spout’ made by the ‘Panama Papers’, a senior official in the oil sector is referred to as the ‘big cheese’ in the documents and investigative newspaper reports published in the US and Australian newspapers.
Our ‘big cheese’ is reported to have pocketed seven percent ‘commission’ in a multi-million contract from an American company in charge of constructing a loading dock on one of the oil harbors.
We want to affirm that our ‘big cheese’ has a habit of receiving specific ‘commission’ in oil sector contracts which are inaccessible to many, apart from very few lucky ones. Despite the fact that this matter has been the talk of the town, no official, even a partner or a witness, involved in such ‘commissions’ was held accountable and brought to justice.
This could have been possible through agencies established for this purpose and to fight against corruption of the children of this country who have been addicted to corruption up to the extent that if you ask them, “Who ordered you to do that …?” The response will be, “Who prohibited me …?”
I am specifically calling on our anti-corruption authority which is, so far, a decorative one, to move and wake up from its deep slumber, given that its moral personality and mythical privileges were restored after being canceled through a court order.
We recently saw the big smiles of the members of this authority with their shiny robes (‘bishts’), jubilating over their return to their happy days after the issuance of a decree that put the authority back to life once again.
I, together with many who are interested in this issue, was surprised upon hearing the official of this authority saying that they are busy working to complete its executive regulations.
This is very strange, since it took more than two years to complete the previous executive regulations. Perhaps, the previous one needed some slight changes, making us wonder why the work of this authority is pending at a time when corruption is overwhelming?
We want to see the wrath of the Anti-Corruption Authority pouring on the already ‘peeled’ case concerning our ‘big cheese’ to see what they will do, and if they will devour the ‘big cheese’.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli – Former Oil Minister