05 December 2016

MADINAH –There have been around 9,000 cases of trespassing on government land monitored by authorities, the latest involving marketing booths targeting citizens with fake promises.

Director of Al-Hamdan Al-Omari Engineering Consultation Abdul Majeed Al-Omari linked this phenomenon of stealing government land to poor monitoring of some real estate offices.

He pointed out that the approved land planning involves multiple parties, including the municipality, the court, engineering offices and the sub-municipality.

He explained that the land that is planned with the government bodies pass through several stages: first, receipt of the contracts to identify land and necessary planning work, and then obtaining the final approval with authority and owners of the land.

At the end of these stages is the implementation of the planned infrastructure.

Regarding land belonging to citizens, Al-Omari said: «It is done in order to receive the legal contract and fact check it through a justice writer, and if it is sound then work proceeds, and if it is not then work stops.»

He said that those involved in the illegal acquisition of land did so for profit, noting that there are engineers working outside the formal work shifts for small amounts of money in order to plan land.

He said there are some traders and surveyors or offices that operate secretly in addition to real estate agents who are seeking to market land in various ways through all available means and channels.

Al-Omari explained that some traders distribute agricultural land randomly without approval from the municipality but through fraudulent workers who issue fake contracts for a SR1,500 fee.

Al-Omari warned citizens not to fall in the trap of fake ads launched by some real estate offices advertising stolen land at low prices as if they are approved by governmental entities.

He added that there are owners of offices deliberately transmitting messages for low-income people, including divorcees and widows, to attract them until they become victims of fraud and discover after paying the money that there are no lands to be owned.

A lawyer said the problem of seizing and reselling government land requires serious and strict stance of officials, as it represents an attack on the state›s wealth as well as having an impact that extends to other crimes.

© The Saudi Gazette 2016