BEIRUT: Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil called Monday for a rescue plan to restore confidence in Lebanon’s Customs Department after the appointment of a new head for its council.
Khalil’s appeal came as he held a meeting with Nizar Khalil, recently appointed as the head of the Higher Council for Customs, and Director General Chafik Merhi and other officials from the Customs Department.
“We clearly demanded to have a short-term plan to restore confidence in the Customs Department and reorganize its structure and role after its work was obstructed in the previous phase,” Khalil said.
Khalil said the Customs Department was in a state of paralysis and confusion and he assured the officials that “the stage after forming the new administration cannot be like before.”
The minister said the new administration of the Customs should be able “to work seriously and end smuggling and the waste of funds.”
He promised that no one would have political cover “to commit any violations in the Customs administration.”
Corruption is reportedly rampant at Lebanon’s Customs Department, which monitors and collects duties on imports and exports.