Bahrain's anti-corruption drive paying off
Manama, June 3, 2014
A total of 123 corruption cases have been registered with a government body in Bahrain since the start of the year.
They include financial and administrative abuses allegedly committed within ministries and companies in the private sector, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
An investigation is being carried out into each case by the Interior Ministry's anti-corruption, economic and electronic security directorate.
"The directorate, via its multilingual hotline 992, received a total of 87 cases of corruption which also includes some complaints related to cyber-crime," said Directorate general director Lieutenant Colonel Bassim Al Maraj.
"The Anti-Corruption Directorate registered 27 cases last year of which 25 were referred to the Public Prosecution, while another 36 cases were reported this year."
He also warned civil servants against abusing their positions for personal gains, adding complaints lodged at the directorate were taken seriously.
Lt Col Al Maraj revealed the figures to the GDN following the launch of the National Anti-Corruption Campaign 2014 (Nazaha), which aims to raise awareness about the risks of corruption in the public and private sectors.
"Our message for workers is clear - accepting money or presents from any party in order to get a contract or tender passed or even facilitate work is considered corruption as per the law," he said.
He said a Facebook page linked to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes has also been created as part of the campaign, which will run until June 10.
"Corruption is a crime and threat to the society and its economy," he added.
"The public can report suspected cases of corruption by contacting our hotline that functions round the clock.
"The identity of the informant will be confidential and they can complain about bribery, embezzlement and abuse of power."
Offenders could face jail sentences of up to 10 years if prosecuted and convicted, while fines equal to the value of the bribe or the amount embezzled can also be imposed.
People can call the hotline, 992, or e-mail complaints to email@example.com.
Earlier this year, the anti-corruption, economic and electronic security directorate was instructed by the leadership to investigate 20 cases of malpractice mentioned in the National Audit Office report.
The cases relating to different government bodies continue to be investigated and 13 have been referred to the Public Prosecution. - TradeArabia News Service