File - A Lebanese customs official displays seized material at Beirut Port, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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As politicians call for a renewed effort to end alleged corruption in the Customs Department, a source at the Finance Ministry said that the minister's hands were tied until the Cabinet filled key vacancies.Speaking to The Daily Star on the condition of anonymity, an adviser to the finance minister did not deny that there were problems at the Customs Department, but he insisted that the corruption would end once the Cabinet appointed a director general and a board of directors. Many politicians and economists have stressed that the best way to finance the controversial new salary demand for government employees and public school teachers is to crackdown on waste and corruption in public officials, with the Customs Department most often singled out.However, the acting director general of the Customs Department, Chafic Merhi, says that reports of corruption in his department are highly exaggerated.Some merchants, however, praised the customs at Rafik Hariri International Airport.
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