JEDDAH — A Saudi citizen and an Arab national were arrested in connection with their involvement in around 150 crimes of financial fraud through impersonating government officials and entities, and stealing money amounting to SR11 million.

An official source at the Public Prosecution stated that its Financial Fraud Crimes Wing started probing into their fraudulent means following the filing of several complaints. The Public Prosecution arrested the defendants and referred them to the competent court to bring them to justice while its International Cooperation Wing began its procedures in tracking the perpetrators as well as the funds that were siphoned outside Saudi Arabia.

It was revealed in investigations that the citizen agreed to work with a fictitious company operating remotely in the field of software technology to use his home as the base for illegal activities such as receiving electronic devices related to activating SIM cards to hold phone calls, receiving SIM cards from the Arab national and activating them on the devices, using them for a short period of time and canceling then immediately so as to block their tracking from the security authorities.

During the raid on the citizen’s house, the security officials seized several devices used in the fraudulent practices, including a device for activating the chips, internet broadcasting devices, a box containing 94 chips, in addition to papers and notebooks to record people’s information, addresses, numbers, and code numbers. When examining the devices technically, it was found more than 4000 audio recordings of calls made with the victims, where each audio file is saved with the SIM number from which the call was made and the details such as the time and date.

It was also revealed that the citizen communicated with external parties and trained them on how to use electronic devices, activate them, and install communication chips that eventually enabled those parties to communicate with the victims, impersonating employees of government agencies and financial institutions, getting access to their personal or banking data, and seizing their money, which is estimated at more than SR11 million, with 150 crimes received by the security authorities at the Kingdomwide.

The Public Prosecution source stressed the importance of preserving personal and banking data, and not disclosing them to any unknown party. It also urged to be wary against getting access to unreliable websites and links, which enable perpetrators to control government or financial personal accounts and seize money through them. The source also warned against extending any kind of assistance to any third parties engaged in fraudulent practices, saying that strict penal measures will be taken against those involved in such crimes.

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