DOHA: Most cases of alleged fraud, forgery and corruption in Qatari courts involve expatriates engaged in the private sector, says a prominent lawyer.
Going strictly by court cases, it is rare to see a litigation involving alleged corruption in the government sector, says Mohsin Thiyab Al Suwaidi.
Asked about the ratio of such cases to the total, he said they should roughly constitute between seven and 10 percent.
Qatari laws do not differentiate between the public and private sector when it comes to bribery or corruption, he said. “The laws are stringent.”
There are many cases of alleged bribery as well as forgery in the private sector, especially related to contracts and transactions among private firms.
According to a report of the Judicial and Security Services, some 1,196 fraud cases were in courts in 2010 and the number dropped marginally to 1,174 the next year, in 2011.
Similarly, there were 579 court cases of forgery in 2010 with the number sliding to 525 in 2011.
Interestingly, some 82 ‘crimes against public property’ were reported to courts in 2010 and the number almost doubled to 151 in 2011, data showed.
Figures suggest that ‘crimes violating the laws of public trust’ numbered 57 with misdemeanour cases being a high of 279 in the year 2009.
While misdemeanour cases dipped to 37 in 2010, criminal cases totaled 111. There were 72 criminal cases involving the violation of the laws of public trust in 2011 and misdemeanor cases were 122.
Meanwhile, only last month there were media reports that the prosecution had launched investigations into an audit firm’s alleged irregularities. Suspicions had arisen that some company’s accounts might have been manipulated by the said audit firm.