BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:20 P.M.) – Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of the Syrian President and business tycoon, announced that security forces began arresting employees of his various companies.
He said, “The pressure began in an unacceptable and inhuman way, and the security services began arresting our employees. Was anyone expecting the security services to come to the companies of Rami Makhlouf, the largest supporter and largest server and patron of these devices during the war? But unfortunately, things started to turn in a different way.”
He said: “Do you think it is a joke or a game? It is a great risk because what I am asked cannot satisfy. I was asked to implement instructions while I closed my eyes. I tell them that this method should not happen. This is an injustice and an inappropriate use of power.”
“We should not use the authority to our advantage but to serve the people. I have previously asked the President (Syrian Bashar al-Assad) to intervene to redress our company with requests that they were not right to. The goal is not to pay but rather that the money that we pay will go to those who deserve it because it was going to be spent on needy people,” he said.
“The aim of the appeal is to put an end to the interventions around the decision-maker because it has become intolerable, nasty and dangerous,” Makhlouf added.
The Syrian Ministry of Communications is currently demanding that the business tycoon pay over $100 million (USD) in fees owed to the state.