16 March 2021
Aljazeera reported that at least At least 241 people, including employees of several ministries, have been arrested on charges including bribery, abuse of power and forgery. Those arrested included employees from the ministries of interior, health, municipal and rural affairs and housing, education, and human resources and social development, customs and the postal story. Nazaha teams made 263 inspection raids during the last month.
According to Nazaha, bank employees a the Saudi Central Bank were reportedly taking bribes from an organised group of expatriates and businessmen to accept deposits from unknown sources and then transfer the money out of the country.
Last January, 32 people were arrested following an investigation into the illegal transfer of $3.1bn out of the country.
A Saudi municipal director of quality management along with his brothers, accepted SR23 million ($6.13 million) in bribes. He was arrested. The siblings received the illegal payoffs to facilitate SR170 million worth of projects to a number of businessmen, according to the country’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha).
Nazaha seized SR1.2 billion, which was returned to the state treasury, and uncovered a large case of corruption in the Ministry of Defense.
A Ministry of Finance employee was arrested for accepting a SR100,000 bribe to overlook financial irregularities in a SR23 million project. A major general and three contracted employees with the Ministry of National Guard were arrested for accepting bribes amounting to more than SR8 million.
An official source at Nazaha said that bank employees received bribes from an organized gang of expats and businessmen to accept cash deposits from unknown sources and then transfer the money out of the Kingdom. It was found that more than SR11.6 billion from unknown sources was deposited and was all transferred abroad. The source added that five expats were arrested while on their way to a bank to deposit more than SR9.8 million in cash. Twelve bank employees, seven businessmen, five Saudis, two expats, and a non-commissioned police officer were also arrested for being involved in bribery, forgery and illegally exploiting their job powers for an illicit financial gain, commercial concealment and money laundering.
The source said that one businessman set up a number of spurious commercial entities under his own name, and under the names of his wife and son. The businessman opened bank accounts and allowed access to some expats, who used the accounts in exchange for monthly payments. The businessman also paid SR300,000 to a non commissioned police officer, in exchange for stalling charges against him over suspicious financial dealings that were already under investigation by the police. He also paid SR4 million to Saudi mediators to stall the same case in the Public Prosecution.
US$1 =3.75 Saudi Riyal