O leadership…replace the currency to eliminate illegally acquired money – ARAB TIMES

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WE speak directly to political leaders and to His Highness the Prime Minister to speak of a painful reality that must be faced boldly; far from emotions and stories – the reality of drugs, financial corruption, bribes and embezzlement of public funds. These diseases require surgical treatment that some may consider strange or a luxury, but reality shows the need to focus on them.

Your Highnesses,

Kuwaiti courts have issued more than 50,000 decisions in 10 years against people accused of being involved in drug cases. Safety data indicates that there are approximately 40,000 users of mind-altering substances and the money obtained from them is estimated at billions. This requires a drastic change in the method of combating such a horrible phenomenon.

In addition, when studies prove that the amount of direct corruption in the country is estimated at 1.2 billion KD per year, while indirect corruption is estimated at 3 billion KD; this means that the country will suffer for a long time from the negative consequences of the two phenomena, which strike the deep layers of society, while formal treatments push for their expansion.

One of these phenomena is the flow of drugs from abroad or locally manufactured, as well as the increase in the number of users. This implies the expansion of all kinds of crimes.

Secondly, the citizen will find himself obliged to accompany the corrupt and to indulge in corruption against his will.

Either way, state health and safety bills will go up. Then the state will come face to face with two ferocious beasts, leading to a third, more dangerous crime, the laundering of money entering the legitimate financial system.

In the past, several countries suffered from both phenomena. Therefore, they found it necessary to change their strategies. First, by modernizing laws, toughening penalties and changing work patterns in their institutions. Second, ongoing public awareness campaigns about the effects of both conditions on society. Third, change the national currency with new figures to absorb the illegal money supply, expose its magnitude and investigate its sources to dry them up. The national currency is one of the sources of state sovereignty and its strength reflects the strength of the economy.

Therefore, issuing a new currency is one of the most important solutions that countries resort to to stimulate the economy. This could bring money that will circulate in the parallel market outside the official circuits of economic and financial activities, while the old is withdrawn from circulation and the quantities that have not been replaced are canceled.

Your Highnesses,

Governments, including that of Kuwait, are aware of money laundering; but they don’t have the legal basis to confiscate this money, as it goes through legitimate channels with known commercial cover. It is difficult to follow such money.

Thus, changing the national currency within a specified time will dry up the sources of drug money and corruption. This is because mind-altering drug dealers and the corrupt will have to take whatever is under their mattress and replace it with the new currency. Undoubtedly, they will be questioned about the source of the huge money they possess.

All of these will definitely realign the economic wheel of the country and strengthen citizens’ confidence in the nation and the national currency; away from illegally acquired money.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, The Arab Times

About Ruben V. Albin

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