Saudi anti-corruption watchdog exposes 158 cases

Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s state anti-corruption watchdog has said that it has recently handled 158 criminal cases involving 226 citizens and expatriates as the country is pursuing an intensified clampdown on unlawful deals.

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A major case implicates a number of officers and civilian employees at the Defence Ministry who collaborated with others in dubious transactions and committed crimes of bribery, influence peddling, forgery, public money waste and money laundering to make illicit gains of over SR1.2 billion, an official source at the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazah) said.

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The watchdog questioned 48 people including 19 employees at the Defence Ministry, three civil servants, 18 businessmen, eight employees at companies that have contracts with the Joint Forces, including three foreigners.

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Investigations in this case resulted in charging 44 among them as efforts are under way to retrieve the looted money to the state treasury, the source added.

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Another case involves a financial representative at the Finance Ministry in a Saudi governorate who received a bribe of SR100,000 from a contracting corporation in return for condoning financial irregularities in its contracts worth a total of SR23 million, the source disclosed, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

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In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up a crackdown on white-collar corruption, nabbing dozens of state employees and entrepreneurs.

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