Thirty-two people have been arrested in Saudi Arabia as part of a corruption investigation into the illegal transfer of $3.1 million out of the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) is taking legal action against those involved. Five people were arrested while trying to deposit $2.65 billion at a bank. Nazaha said that five expats were arrested while on their way to a bank to deposit cash.

Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) had information that certain bank employees received bribes from an organized group of expats and businessmen to accept cash deposits from unknown sources and then transfer the money out of the Kingdom. Nazaha analysed the accounts of the involved bank and conducted field investigations. It found out that some $3bn had been laundered through this entity.

Twelve bank employees, five Saudi businessmen, two expats, and a non-commissioned police officer were arrested on charges of bribery, forgery and illegally exploiting their job powers for an illicit financial gain, commercial concealment and money laundering.

According to Nazaha, the Saudi businessman opened bank accounts and allowed the expats to deposit and transfer money in return for monthly payments. He paid $81,000 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 $1 million to Saudi mediators for their efforts to stall the same case in the Public Prosecution.

Saudi authorities did not reveal the source and destination of the black money.

Arab News reported.