Amid bribery and corruption | Homs residents deprived of heating allowances
Homs province: SOHR sources have reported that employees of “Takamul” company, which is responsible for distributing food supplies and fuel allowances to residents in regime-controlled areas, are misuse their posts and force the owners of smartcards to pay bribes to them, so that the residents make sure that they will receive text messages informing them of the arrival of their heating allowances at petrol stations.
According to SOHR sources, several individuals affiliated with merchants on black markets have announced their ability to accelerate the delivery of diesel allowances distributed via smartcards, were anyone can get their allowances, 50 litres of subsidised diesel, after paying 120,000 SYP.
Until now the procedures under which the individuals, who are responsible for collecting smartcards, collect money form the residents remain unknown. However, local sources have suggested that merchants on black markets deal directly with officials of “Takamul” company in return for sharing a portion of the money collected from the residents who want to get fuel in devious ways.
Speaking to SOHR, Haj A. S. from Al-Wa’er neighbourhood says, “unless the holders of smartcards pay money to those individuals, then they will be deprived from heating allowances, just like what happened last year. In this way, the holders of smartcards can get a sum of money ranging from 270,000 to 280,000 SYP. The price of the 50-litre share of of diesel is 35,000 SYP (740 SYP per litre), while an additional sum of money, 85,000 SYP, is added in return for accelerating the delivery of allowances. Accordingly, the total required sum of money is 120,000 SYP. After residents receive fuel allowances, they sell them once again to the same individuals who are affiliated with merchants on black markets for 360,000 SYP (7,200 SYP per litre). After detecting 120,000 SYP, which are paid as a ‘bribe,’ then every resident could get 240,000 SYP which enable him to buy nearly 200 kilograms of fire logs, where the price of fire logs ranges between 1,000 SYP and 1,250 SYP per kilogram. ‘Takamul’ company supposed to be established for equally distributing food supplies and fuel to the residents. However, the company has recently forced the residents to sell their heating allowances which are supposed to be delivered without any patronage.”
It is worth noting that hundreds of families have no financial ability to pay the required bribe in order to accelerate the sending of text messages and get their allowances; this, in turn, results in depriving them from their allowances.