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Sudan 'war on corruption': Drug traders arrested in East Darfur

May 6 - 2018 ED DAEIN
Police in El Radoom, South Darfur, seized large amounts of cannabis in the locality, 5 November 2017 (RD)
Police in El Radoom, South Darfur, seized large amounts of cannabis in the locality, 5 November 2017 (RD)

At least 13 people, accused of drug smuggling and trading, were arrested in East Darfur last week.

A listener reported to Radio Dabanga that the head of the East Darfur Employers Union, a lieutenant colonel of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), an influential merchant, and 10 others accused of “financing and promoting the trade in drugs” were detained on Thursday.

According to the source there exists a list of about 100 people, including leading political, legislative and financial figures, suspected of trading and smuggling drugs, and money laundering.

“Apart from Kamal Karrar, head of the East Darfur Employers Union and one of the largest financiers of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) in the state, the list includes a number of other major merchants in East Darfur,” he said. “They may all be arrested in the coming days.”

‘War on corruption’

On April 2, the Sudanese president launched a war against corruption in Sudan. “There are linked networks of corruption to sabotage the national economy by stealing the people’s money,” President Omar Al Bashir told the Parliament. “We will strictly apply the law of illegal wealth here, to detect suspected money laundering.”

According to Economist Professor Hamid Eltigani, Head of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at the American University of Cairo, “corruption in Sudan is institutionalised and starts with the presidency and extending in the executive branch, Bank of Sudan and commercial banks.”

He accused the president and his brothers of involvement in corruption etworks, speculation in currencies, and gold trade, saying that “most of the deals are signed inside the presidential palace with the knowledge of the President of the Republic”.

Sudan ranks 175th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2017.

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