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Saudi anti-graft authority initiates 158 criminal cases SR1.2 billion corruption case exposed, official from ministry of defense involved
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 11 - 2020

Saudi Arabia's Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) on Thursday announced initiating 158 cases of financial crimes in different sectors.
As many as 226 people were arrested and probed over corruption charges and formal procedures against them are underway, according to an official source at the authority.
The source has cited some of the prominent cases which are as follow:
1. Based on a royal order regarding the information available on suspicious financial deals at the Ministry of Defense, the authority has started its investigations with 48 parties on this matter, including 19 employees of the Ministry of Defense, 3 government employees, 18 businessmen, and 8 employees of contracting companies with the joint forces, including 3 expatriates.
It has been proven through investigation procedures that 44 officials, businessmen, and employees of different nationalities have been involved in companies contracting with the joint forces involving in the crimes of forgery, squandering of public funds, and exploiting the influence of the public office in illicit financial gain, as the total amounts obtained from them reached SR1.22 billion and the procedure is underway to return the looted money to the state treasury.
2. The arrest of the director of quality management in a municipality of one of the regions and his two brothers for facilitating the award of a number of projects for a total amount of SR170 million for a businessman (a contractor working with the municipality), and obtaining in exchange an amount of SR 23.2 million in bribery.
3. The arrest of an employee in the 13 grade in the Ministry of Finance in one of the governorates for obtaining an amount of SR100,000 from one of the enterprises which has contracts with government entities for a total amount of SR23 million in exchange for overlooking some financial irregularities.
4. The arrest of a retired major general and employees of one of the contracting companies with the Ministry of National Guard, as he received an amount of SR8.2 million from the company's employees as separate payments "in cash and checks" in exchange for facilitating to the company to obtain projects in the ministry and disbursing its financial statements.
5. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the arrest of the director of Contracts and Procurement Department in the Health Affairs in one of the governorates, red-handed, upon payment of SR70,000 to an employee in the Archives Department in the same entity in exchange for obtaining the patients' paperwork and their financial compensations with the intention of concealing them.
6. The arrest of a female employee in the Education Directorate of one of the regions red-handed while receiving a sum of SR20,000 bribe in exchange for a promise to employ females citizens in a number of jobs in the same entity.
The authority affirms on the continuation to pursue anyone who exploits the public office to achieve personal gain or harm the public interest in any way possible, and that the accountability extends far beyond the retirement of any individual, as the crimes of financial and administrative corruption have no statute of limitations, and that it will apply what the law rules against the violators with zero tolerance.
The authority also appreciates the efforts of government entities in fighting financial and administrative corruption and the development of policies and procedures that promote speedy achievements which shut any inlets for corruption, and it commends the cooperation of those entities and the media on their effort in promoting integrity, transparency and fighting corruption, and it would like as well to thank the citizens and residents in reporting through its available channels, including the toll-free number (980) for any practices involving financial or administrative corruption that would undermine the efforts of the government to support and promote the path of comprehensive development in light of Vision 2030.
It also extends its thanks and appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman for the unlimited support to the authority in order to exercise its jurisdiction and perform its tasks in fighting financial and administrative corruption in all its forms and manifestations. — SG

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