The Lebanese State spends around $40 million/year on protection teams for politicians and security officials, Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Monday.
While the Lebanese law allows some officials to have bodyguards for their personal protection, this same law has been blatantly abused as any high-ranking figure is now recruiting a security team under the pretext of danger to his or her life.
According to the newspaper, the law has been misapplied to an extent where public figures have turned the people tasked with protecting their personal security into drivers for their family members or couriers.
Every former president gets ten bodyguards, while former speakers and prime ministers are allowed to have eight protective team members, the report noted.
The wife of a late president gets two bodyguards while the heads of religious sects residing in Lebanon are entitled for a six-member security team.
Each of the current ministers and lawmakers gets four bodyguards, while 164 judges are each entitled for one security agent.
Researcher at Beirut-based Information International, Mohammed Shamseddine, said that the quota stipulated by the law is never respected, saying that an estimated sum of $6 million is spent yearly on officers’ bodyguards.
"A former brigadier general at the Internal Security Forces had 60 members to protect him, while his successor has only one bodyguard," he pointed out.