Union anger at Custom’s name and shame

Following a meeting of the Council of Ministers, held last week to discuss various irregularities related to the Customs office, a decision was made to conduct an investigation into a number of incidents. They then went further and declared that three individuals at working at Customs would be suspended while corruption investigations continued. All three were named.

Yesterday, their union, Guc-Sen took exception to the naming of the customs officers. Erol Emin, head of the union, said that this was against the rule of law. He asked why the names of the three had been made public before any guilt had been established. He also said that the three employees were still at work and had not been suspended.

Mr Emin then went on to say that the firm involved in the alleged corruption had not been named but that he would now disclose it as being Levent Motors. He said that Levent motors management as well as customs officers had keys to the customs warehouses. He also pointed out that this was not the first time that the company had been involved in the release of cars without paying duties. Previously, a director of the company, Mehmet Boyaci had admitted guilt to such an incident and paid out TL 600,000.

Mr Emin concluded by saying that customs was very understaffed and had only 17 staff to process 200 warehouses. They had requested an extra 90 staff from the government but that this had been ignored.

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