Seklaoui: we want it to be a cornerstone of a joint national effort .. The Regie to Launch the First National Conference to Combat Illicit Trade: A Roadmap to Fight Smuggling a Protect National Economy

13 March 2018
Seklaoui: we want it to be a cornerstone of a joint national effort .. The Regie to Launch the First National Conference to Combat Illicit Trade: A Roadmap to Fight Smuggling a Protect National Economy
Under the patronage of the Minister of Finance Ali Hassan Khalil, the Regie organizes on March 28th the first national conference to combat illicit trade in Beirut. It gathers around 600 participants, including international experts, Arab delegations, general directors, Lebanese ministerial and security officials, and representatives of legislative and judicial authorities. A universal conference that the Regie organizes within its sustainable development strategy under the title “Your Economy… you protect it”; an unprecedented initiative to protect the national economy and treasury revenues, especially that the Regie provides the national treasury with the fifth largest revenue. 
The Regie’s General Director Mr. Nassif Saqlawy stressed the importance of this conference, as an "initiative that contributes, due to its developmental dimension, to laying a reform roadmap that tackles the steps required to gradually reduce the crime against the nation that takes a great toll on national treasury along with its catastrophic consequences to the consumer.”
The conference proceeds from tobacco products’ illicit trade to discuss the problem of smuggling from a comprehensive approach that focuses on reducing the supply and demand of smuggled goods. The agenda of the conference includes an overview of the reality of public institutions and their supervisory role, the dangers of smuggling on state revenues, ways to develop mechanisms to protect consumers from the effects of smuggling, and the involvement of the Lebanese private sector and industrialists in fighting smuggling. Among other subjects, participants will discuss the Parliament’s legislative role in combating illicit trade, developing customs procedures, enhancing law enforcement and prosecution, activating the role of security forces and mechanisms of coordination between them, and the latest initiatives in this regard, in addition to a statistical, legal, and international reading of the reality of smuggling and  International practices and standards of fighting smuggling, in order to provide a broad base among concerned parties to fight illicit trade in Lebanon.
Speakers at the conference include MP Yassin Jaber, former Minister of Interior and Municipalities Ziad Baroud, Public Prosecutor General Ali Ibrahim, General Director of the Internal Security Forces Major General Imad Othman, Director General of the minister of Finance Alain Biffani, General Director of Customs Badri Daher, Director General of the Ministry of Economy and Trade Alia Abbas, Chairman of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists Dr. Fadi Gemayel, Head of the Anti-Smuggling Department at the Regie Mohammed Daher, as well as the UN Bureau of Combating Drugs and Crime’s expert David Izadifar and the expert from the Europol’s (European Police) expert Howard Pugh, and international law expert Hubert Lawrence. The sessions will be headed by the head of Institut de Finance Basel Fuleihan, Lamia El Mobayed Bsat, member of the Regie’s Board of Managers, Mazen Abboud, and international expert Alain Janovich.
Seklaoui hoped that “the practical recommendations of the conference would be a cornerstone of a joint national effort between concerned parties that integrates with the course of modernizing laws and legislations that control smuggling and its negative effects on the Lebanese economy and public finances.”
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