The fraudulent fuel scandal attributed to the Sonatrach branch in Lebanon continues to interact, and media sources revealed the expansion of the department of summonses, investigations, and charges, directed against government and non-governmental employees, in Lebanon.
These summonses come from the Lebanese judiciary, in conjunction with other investigations conducted by the Algerian authorities, which led, as is known, to the arrest of the representative of Sonatrach, Tarek Al-Fawal, and 16 other people, in the case of the delivery of a shipment that includes defects in the quality of fuel, for the benefit of EDL.
Sonatrach has been involved, since January 2006, in an agreement with the Lebanese Ministry of Energy, to supply it with diesel and fuel oil, as it sells motor and diesel fuel to the EDL through two companies, one of which is the Lebanese R Energy.
The London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi daily reported that the Lebanese defendants confessed to taking bribes to tamper with the results of the laboratory reports, in addition to suspicion that officials received bribes to enter into the country adulterated fuel.
The source said that the Lebanese judiciary heard last week the testimony of the former Energy Minister, Nada Al-Bustani, and the former minister, Mohamed Feneish.
Al-Bustani told investigators that: “The file of fuel adulterated in the judiciary takes its legal course and then we see what will happen, I do not want to speak about the issue because of the presence of the file in the judiciary,” while MP Antoine Habashi, member of the Parliamentary Bloc of the Strong Republic, indicated that “the bloc filed a complaint about the electricity to the Ministry of Energy”.
Habashi added: “The bloc will not compromise this issue in light of the economic and social conditions that we live in, in order to advance the country and the local economy. The Ministry of Energy should start from the signing of this decision until the issue is unveiled, and they must bear responsibility”.
The director of operations of the taste and jiyya laboratories in the MEP Company for the production of electricity, Yahya Mawloud, was also interrogated, according to the same source, and he was quoted as saying: “We were carrying out the necessary procedures and checks, and some things did not appear with checks, during the operation period and this is what we reported until we reached this result He added: “For us, we refused to receive any shipment that is not usable, and the responsibility later devolves upon the buyer who is in the Ministry of Energy”.
Sonatrach had indicated that “the issue of adulterated fuel, related to a dispute dating back to last March 30, when Sonatrach received a notification from the Lebanese Ministry of Electricity and Water, regarding a defect in the quality of one of the fuel shipments delivered to EDL on the 25th of the same month”. It is expecting an actual and final settlement of this issue any time soon.