The Ministry of Commerce and Industry referred 14 cooperative societies to the public prosecution, after an audit in these coops revealed an unexplained shortage in the inventory of goods handed out through Amiri grants in 2011 and 2012. Informed sources said the prosecution summoned commerce ministry officials to question them about their audit results and the charges directed at the 14 coops.
The charges include manipulation of Amiri grant funds and embezzlement of goods for financial gains. In reply to the commerce ministry’s letters to the accused asking an explanation for the shortage, 10 coops gave unconvincing answers, while four did not respond.
The sources said the commerce ministry made an inventory for various subsidized goods at 180 coop branches, comparing the existing goods with what was supplied and dispensed and discovered a shortage in 14 cooperatives. The sources did not disclose the total value of the shortage, but said that the numbers vary; underlining the legal responsibility is not linked to the value of the shortage, but due to the presence of fraud.