Syria’s Rami Makhlouf relinquishes assets to charity

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Updated 29 May 2020

Syria’s Rami Makhlouf relinquishes assets to charity

  • Makhlouf said he was “very relieved and euphoric”
  • The Syrian government said his company owes $77 million

DUBAI: Rami Makhlouf, one of the richest men in Syria, is relinquishing his assets to his charity Ramak Humanitarian, newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
His shares in several banks and insurance companies will not be transferable or sellable, Makhlouf said.
In another video message on Facebook, the businessman said he was “very relieved and euphoric” to transfer the ownership.
It was “very difficult, but giving it to a humanitarian charity is an indescribable joy,” he added.
The move allows Makhlouf to avoid government seizure of his assets, sources in Damascus told Asharq Al-Awsat.
The Syrian government earlier ordered the seizure his assets, his wife’s and children’s on May 19, according to a government document reviewed by Reuters.
The document said the “precautionary seizure” aimed to guarantee payment of sums owned to the Syrian telecom regulatory authority.
According to the Syrian government, Mahklouf’s telecommunications company, Syriatel, owes nearly $77 million.
He has released a number of video messages on his Facebook page regarding the dispute, appealing to his cousin, Syrian President Bashar Assad, for help in one of them.

Jordan tightens penalties for violators of coronavirus rules

Updated 01 October 2020

Jordan tightens penalties for violators of coronavirus rules

  • It comes as the country battles a new wave of infections across the country

DUBAI: People who violate rules brought in to control COVID-19 in Jordan will face a fine of up to $1,410 and one year jail, as part of new policies introduced as the country struggles with rising cases, state news agency Petra has reported.

The new defense order, announced by Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh, details penalty amendments for first time and repeat offenders, as well as for hospitals and other establishments.

It comes as the country battles a new wave of infections across the country.

The new order also penalizes hospital administrators, health centers, and medical laboratories that withhold information about COVID-19 cases from authorities.

Although the penalties were detailed, Adaileh said more severe punishments could still be imposed against violators.

“Official and scientific health references confirm that we are in a state of societal spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, prevention is no longer an option, but rather a decision, a duty and a moral and humanitarian responsibility” he said.

The minister also announced new home quarantine rules for people coming from other countries. They were now required to isolate for two weeks, instead of one, and there will be additional tests at the end of each week.