Public Prosecution to handle customs cases


By Adnan Al-Shabrawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has issued orders to transfer the jurisdiction of the prosecution and investigation of customs cases from the General Customs Authority to the Public Prosecution.

The process of transferring the cases to the Public Prosecution is expected to be completed within three months.

The move comes at a time when the number of cases of customs duty evasion rose to 450 last year.

Well-informed sources told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the Public Prosecutor’s office had confirmed the completion of all the necessary procedures to start investigation into customs cases.

Earlier, the highest authorities had postponed the transfer of customs cases to the Public Prosecution for four years. But the Public Prosecution confirmed its readiness to begin immediately the investigation into customs cases.

The sources stated that the Public Prosecutor’s office has issued a circular to the competent authorities, confirming its full readiness to exercise its jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute customs crimes cases after their transfer from the General Customs Authority.

According to legal experts, this move will be helpful for both importers and customers.

Saad Al-Malki, former public prosecutor at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said customs duty evasion incurs huge losses to traders and importers and the new move will help curtail the number of such cases drastically.