Labour Ministry official faces trial in BD23,000 graft case
Manama : A senior official in the Ministry of Labour faces trial before the High Criminal Court over accusations of pocketing around BD23,000 earmarked for social aid, it is learnt. The ministry was distributing social aid to many citizens between 2014 and 2016 and it was later discovered that those who obtained money were ineligible to receive support. Subsequently, the ministry asked them to return the money and the accused official was put in charge to collect the amount from them.
It is alleged that the woman official embezzled the money instead of depositing it into the ministry’s account. The defendant appeared before the High Criminal Court for her hearing, where she pleaded not guilty. And she was granted bail with her residence as the guarantee. According to court files, the woman was referred to prosecutors after she failed to hand over the money to the finance department of the ministry. Subsequently, the employees in the department crossed check received amounts, but suspicions were raised after a big portion of it was found to be missing.
“Some of the citizens were paid the financial support between the years 2014-2016, although they weren’t eligible to receive it. They were asked to return the funds, and the defendant was responsible for taking the money from them,” a source close to the case said. “The ministry was supposed to receive BD38,065, but there was a missing amount of BD23,390.” The woman official reportedly returned BD14,675 when she was put under probe. Nevertheless, her case was reported to the Public Prosecution, and she was put on trial over embezzlement charges.