298 arrested in corruption cases; SR379mn involved

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Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH —In the latest crackdown on corruption, 674 people were rounded up and 298 of them have been charged and arrested, Saudi Arabia’s Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) said on Sunday. An investigation into those accused of corruption found that a total of SR379 million was involved in administrative and financial irregularities, the Saudi Press Agency quoted Nazaha as saying. Nazaha said it interrogated 674 people, out of whom corruption charges were leveled against 298 individuals. Their cases will be referred to the special court. The accused were charged with various financial and administrative corruption crimes represented in bribery, embezzlement, waste of public money, exploitation of position, and misuse of public office, the commission said in a statement. Investigations found that 16 persons, including eight military officers — one of whom is a major general and others who are retired military officers — were charged with misusing government contracts at the Ministry of Defense and their involvement in bribery and money-laundering crimes between 2005 and 2015.

Those booked for abuse of power, accepting bribe and other charges include two judges, two majors general, one brigadier general and three colonels.

The following are the major cases of corruption as per the investigations:

— Sixteen persons, including eight military officers – one of whom is a major general and others are retired military officers – were charged with misusing government contracts at the defense ministry and their involvement in bribery and money laundering crimes between 2005 and 2015.

Twenty-one people, including two women and three expatriates, are involved in financial and administrative corruption crimes by misusing contracts at the General Directorate of Health Affairs in the Eastern Province

— Nine officials from Al-Maarif Private University in Riyadh and one of the municipalities, and a former employee of the Ministry of Education were involved in financial and administrative corruption cases as well as in violating regulations and instructions that resulted in severe damage to the university building causing deaths and injuries

— Abuse of power and accepting bribery by 14 persons, including three officers in the rank of colonel and four employees of various sectors of the Ministry of Interior in the Eastern Province.

— Abuse of power and accepting bribery by 15 persons, including a major general and brigadier general, in one of the Ministry of the Interior sectors.

— Arrest of a judge red-handed while accepting a sum of money in bribery, and another judge abused his office by accepting money in bribery and these were after completing the procedures for arrest by the Supreme Judiciary Council in accordance with Article 68 of the judicial law.

— Arrest of an officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Ministry of Defense sector for abuse of power with accepting a sum of money in bribery.

Nazaha appreciated the positive role of ministers through their continuous cooperation in eradicating various forms of corruption. It also underscored the ability of the judiciary to combat corruption while maintaining fair trial standards in a manner that achieves the elimination of this scourge.


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