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Saudi Arabia arrests 32 in corruption case worth $3 billion

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Saudi Arabia arrested 32 individuals on charges involving bribery from an organized crime group and transferring cash sums outside the Kingdom in a case involving 11.6 billion riyals ($3.07 billion), the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority known as "Nazaha" announced on Wednesday.

The Saudi authorities initiated a criminal cases against bank employees who recieved bribes from an "organized gang", which consisted of a group of residents and businessmen, in exchange of depositing cash sums of unknown sources then transferring them outside the Kingdom, Nazaha said.

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Five residents were arrested while heading to a bank to deposit 9.78 million riyals ($2.61 million) in cash. In addition, 7 businessmen, 12 bank employees, 5 citizens, 2 residents, and a police department officer were arrested for involvement in "bribery, forgery, and exploiting the power of their position for illicit financial gain, commercial concealment, and money laundering."

Nazaha did not provide names and offered few other details about the case.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had said in November last year the Kingdom would continue to take “strong and painful” action against corruption after recovering billions of riyals in settlements over the past three years.

He added that authorities had recovered 247 billion riyals ($65.86 billion) in addition to assets worth tens of billions of riyals, including real estate and stocks, that have been transferred to the finance ministry and would be reflected in revenues once liquidated.

The Kingdom had also detained early last year hundreds of government officials, including military and security officers, on charges involving bribery and exploiting public office, and said investigators would bring charges against them.

- With Reuters

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