Libyan govt investigates fraud in payment of bonuses to ex-combatants

The Libyan government has set up a special commission to investigate cases of financial fraud within the army’s accounting department following bonuses paid to the revolutionary soldiers, called 'the thowars', who participated in the war against the regime of Mouammar Kadhafi. The decision followed persistent rumours circulating across Libya that there were widespread fraud and corrupt practices in the payment of the bonuses.

A spokesman for the Libyan government, Nasser Al-Manaa, told a press conference on Wednesday that the commission would make the result of its investigation public.

According to Al-Manaa, a second commission would be established to prosecute those found guilty of the financial fraud.

The new Libyan authorities had proposed a bonus of 4,000 dinars (about US$ 3,000) to each revolutionalist, a measure that sparked heated debate for and against the policy.

An official of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Muhammad Al-Harizi, warned last week against financial corruption and embezzlement in the country, saying that 1.8 billion dinars (about US$ 1.5 billion) had been spent so far as bonuses for the 'thowars'.

He said that following the abuses and massive fraud, involving millions of dinars, bonuses may have been paid to undeserving people.

He added that in view of that development, payment of bonuses had now been temporarily suspended until the outcome of the investigation.

(Source: Afrique en Ligne)

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