US halts Syria aid after discovering Turkish corruption

The US government has suspended funding several Syria aid agencies after discovering a systematic over payment to Turkish suppliers, a senior American official says.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID)’s independent government auditor made the announcement in a statement, adding the organization had “established grounds resulting in the suspension of 14 entities and individuals involved with aid programs from Turkey.”

In its statement, USAID revealed “a network of commercial vendors, NGO employees, and others who have colluded to engage in bid-rigging and multiple bribery and kickback schemes related to contracts to deliver humanitarian aid in Syria.”

All charges relate to buying goods in Turkey, where suppliers were being systematically overpaid by NGOs, who are accused of failing to monitor their procurement, a process some of their staff were directly involved in.

Turkish private companies are charged with selling low…

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