The Washington Post: This is how the Assad regime can get away with debt and economic sanctions imposed on it
The Washington Post reported (The Washington Post) that the Bashar al-Assad regime confiscated dozens of companies in order to relieve the economic pressures resulting from Western sanctions, Russian and Iranian debts, and the collapse of the economy in Lebanon.
A Syrian executive residing in Dubai likened the movements of the Syrian regime to being similar to the mafia, according to what the American newspaper quoted him as saying.
The newspaper pointed out the details of the withdrawal of MTN – the second largest mobile phone service provider in the country – from Syria, while its subscribers continue to pay bills.
She pointed out that the aforementioned company was brought under control 4 months ago after prolonged pressure, followed by arrests that included a number of its officials, demands for millions of dollars in payments, threats to cancel the company’s operating license, and a questionable court ruling that put an Assad loyalist in charge of it.
The South African-based company announced last August that it would abandon the Syrian market under conditions described by its CEO as “unbearable.” However, MTN’s mobile phone towers are still operating, and their subscribers are still The 6 million are paying their monthly bills.
“But where this money is going, frankly no one knows,” said a Syrian executive who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
The newspaper pointed out that this scenario was repeated in the past two years with dozens of foreign and family companies in Syria, and noted that this campaign did not exclude even members of the Assad family, as Assad stripped his cousin Rami Makhlouf of companies and assets that were once part of a huge portfolio valued by Syria experts. valued at $10 billion.
The regime’s areas are experiencing a state of economic collapse, and an almost complete loss of services for the population, in conjunction with a massive rise in food prices, and a major collapse in the exchange rate of the Syrian pound and its purchasing power.