Saudi Arabia in massive corruption crackdown; more than 200 arrests made

Saudi Arabia's Control and Anti-Corruption Authority has launched the crackdown

Gavel on stack of documents. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Gavel on stack of documents. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Saudi Arabia on Thursday announced the arrest of 226 people involved in 158 corruption cases, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Saudi Arabia's Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) accused them of exploiting their authorities to accept briberies, the report said.

Formal procedures against the culprits are underway, according to an official source at the authority.

One of the cases, which was reported in August, involved Saudi officers and civilians working for the Defence Ministry.

They were accused of accepting briberies totalling 1.229 billion Saudi Riyals (Dh1.2 billion), in addition to forgeries and money laundering.

Of the 48 defendants investigated in this case, 19 were defence ministry employees, three civil servants, 18 businessmen and eight people working in companies. Some 44 of these individuals have been charged after investigations and the authorities are working to recover the stolen money.

Another case involved a retired National Guard officer who was charged with accepting bribery of 8.2 million Saudi Riyals (Dh8 million) when he was in active duty.

China's Xinhua news agency and Saudi media outlets reported the alleged crimes.

The commission vowed to continue its fight against corruption, highlighting that the penalty against those who commit briberies could be waived if they report the cases to the authorities.

Saudi Arabia has been waging a war against corruption in the last few years as part of its efforts to protect the strength of its economy.

Nazaha said in a statement: "The authority will pursue anyone who exploits the public office to achieve personal gain or harm the public interest in any way possible. 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."


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