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Battle against corruption 'will spare no one regardless of rank'

posted on 19/08/2008: 868 views

The UAE Government is committed to fighting corruption, enhancing performance and ensuring accountability for the benefit of its citizens, top officials said on Monday. "The government is committed to combating corruption however large or sensitive in keeping with instructions from the political leadership," Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior, told Gulf News.

Sheikh Saif added the Ministry of Interior monitors the performance of its departments and holds them accountable to meet its established standards and offer the best services. Sheikh Saif reiterated the ministry's policy to promote transparency and reveal cases of corruption and mistrust among staff members despite the rank of the official and the sensitivity of the situation.

The statement came after the Dubai Government announced a crackdown on corruption. The media office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday issued a strongly-worded statement, promising to deal harshly with any officials accused of taking payoffs in deals or those who exploit their positions for financial gain.

"This will be an example to those who break the law and proves that no one is above the law, neither the police nor the public," Sheikh Saif said.

A sergeant with Abu Dhabi Traffic Department has been arrested after police uncovered a Dh13 million luxury car scam. The officer is facing corruption charges after he fraudulently altered the ownership certificates for 17 BMWs. Police said the man intended to sell the cars abroad.

"Fighting corruption is a global challenge and a never-ending effort for all countries and the UAE, for its part, is committed to maintaining the highest international standards to fight graft," Saqr Ghobash, Minister of Labour, told Gulf News in a telephone interview.

"Fighting corruption is deeply enshrined in our religion and traditions and simply means that the right thing is done, transparency must be upheld to assure that the right thing is done and accountability if it is not done, on condition that no injustice is done to anybody," he said.

Ghobash, his ministry recently busted a scam involving officials who allegedly issued more than 3,000 illegal work permits, said that while the UAE has zero tolerance for corruption, it will never be zero.

"Cases of corruption that emerged in the recent past and the firmness with which the government has dealt with them confirm that no one has immunity and the law is above all," Ghobash said.

The Government, he said, has and will never shy away from going public and publishing these violations to deter those who attempt to abuse their positions for private gains.

The UAE has earned a score of 5.7 in the Transparency International's annual Corporation Perception Index (CPI) for 2007.

The scores ranged from zero to ten, with zero being highly corrupt and a core of ten indicating the least corruption. – Gulf News


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