Tunis: 35 customs officers to appear before disciplinary council

Tunisia’s Ministry of Finance has ordered 35 custom officers to appear before a disciplinary council for “professional misconduct,” Anadolu reported on Friday.

At a press briefing held in Tunis, the head of Tunisia’s Customs Union, Rida Nasri, said 21 custom officers from Rdas Seaport were also relocated as part of normal procedures.

He explained that the referral of the 35 officers to the disciplinary council was part of a campaign led by Prime Minister Yousef al-Shahid against corruption in the public sector.

Nasri stressed that his trade union was fully supportive of the anti-corruption efforts undertaken by the government.

In this regard, Nasri called on the National Anti-Corruption Commission, an independent statutory unit, to oversee all the corruption files. “We notice selectivity in dealing with the [corruption] files as not all of them reach the Commission’s office,” he said.

Throughout 2016, the Commission received 8,029 corruption complaints; 152 cases were referred to the courts.

In June 2017, the ministry of finance sacked 21 customs officers and handed over the files of 35 others for further investigation.

To date, the Tunisian government has detained and confiscated properties of 14 prominent businessmen, including a former custom officer; 10 others have been placed under house arrest as part of the anti-corruption campaign.