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Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption body issues several criminal cases in latest crackdown

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Saudi Arabia’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has issued several criminal cases against dozens of citizens and residents, including government employees, the body announced on Monday.

The crimes include bribery, embezzlement of public funds, and fraud.

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In one ruling, the court convicted a Ministry of Defense employee of embezzling funds, sentencing him to five years in prison. Issued with a fine, the person will return the embezzled money to the state treasury, the authority said.

A retired officer from the ministry was also convicted of embezzlement and given a three-year jail sentence. He too, will return the stolen money to the treasury.

The Ministry of Housing also saw several employees convicted of money laundering and accepting bribes in exchange for carrying out favors for others, according to the body.

Sentenced from two to ten years in prison, a court order confiscated funds and any real estate acquired from their crimes, the authority said.

In another ruling, the court sentenced employees from the Ministry of Interior to one to five years in jail for requesting and accepting bribes in exchange for carrying out favors for others, that abused public office and administrative duties.

Several doctors and administrators in the Ministry of Health were also convicted to up to seven years in jail for administrative misuse and bribery, according to the authority.

Prominent cases

The anti-corruption body also announced that cases filed, included several criminal cases against citizens, residents, and former government employees.

The first case is that of 24 employees at the Kingdom’s Ministry of Health, 15 employees from the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, 14 municipal employees, two university faculty members, and 16 employees from a medical waste disposal company.

Criminal cases against them were made for illegally obtaining millions of riyals, travel tickets, accommodation, and car reservations for their personal use, the authority said.

The employees had also hired their first-degree relatives to make sure that their violations were not detected, according to the anti-corruption body.

The judiciary did not escape arrests with the conviction of a former appeals judge who had accepted a luxury vehicle in exchange for issuing a specific ruling, and for revoking three other rulings against an accused person that lead to his release.

A female citizen was also arrested for paying 12,000 riyals ($3,199) in exchange for 45 growth hormone injections that were not intended for sale from hospitals under the Ministry of Defense, the authority said.

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A crackdown on criminals

The anti-corruption body confirmed that the latest convictions are all part of the body’s efforts to crackdown on all those who exploit the public office for personal gain, or harm the public interest in any way.

The authority also said it appreciates the efforts of government entities to fight financial and administrative corruption, and to develop policies and procedures that put an end to fraud and embezzlement.

The body thanked King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for extending their support to the authority to exercise its jurisdiction and perform its tasks in fighting financial and administrative corruption in all its forms and manifestations.