Malta probes embezzlement claims against ex-Saudi official

Cairo: Malta has said it is investigating embezzlement claims against former Saudi official Saad Al Jabri, who has recently become a Maltese citizen.

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Saudi state companies have accused Al Jabri, a former security advisor, of embezzling billions of dollars during his 17-year work at the Interior Ministry.

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A-Jabri appeared on the most recently published list of new Maltese citizens after buying a passport through a controversial scheme, Times of Malta newspaper reported.

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In October, the European Commission initiated “infringement procedures” against Malta on the scheme arguing that citizenship in return for a pre-determined payment or investment makes the passport buyer automatically a European Union citizen.

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However, a spokesman for the citizenship secretariat said that the Community Malta Agency, which handles citizenship affairs, can only act if there is concrete evidence to present to the citizenship deprivation board.

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Al Jabari is reportedly living in Canada.

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Last October, a Canadian court ordered a freeze of his worldwide assets and ordered him to disclose them or face possible imprisonment time.

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The court’s decision is seen as a successful step in the Saudi government’s pursuit of corruption cases at a Western court of law. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has made fight of corruption a top priority since 2017. His anti-graft campaign has resulted in retrieving billions of looted dollars to the state coffers.

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