Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested a gang for smuggling over $17 million (SR64,860,000) and nearly 19 kilograms of gold abroad, the official Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
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The members, accused of money laundering and bribery, were sentenced to prison for up to 64 years total, in addition to having $272,000 (SR1,020,690) seized from one of the perpetrators while he attempted to travel outside of the Kingdom, according to SPA. His vehicle was also confiscated.
The bust included both Saudi nationals and foreigners. In addition to imprisonment, the citizens were sentenced to a travel ban while the foreigners are to be deported after they serve their prison term.
There are procedures underway to recover the smuggled money from abroad, according to the news agency.
“The Public Prosecution stressed that it will spare no effort in implementing the directives of the country’s leadership by strictly implementing the regulations against all those who are tempted to commit such crimes, preserving the capabilities and gains of this dear homeland and eliminating and fighting organized crime,” SPA said.
In September last year, Saudi Arabia arrested nine expatriates for illegally transferring money abroad. A total of $266,640 (SR1 million) were also seize from the group.
One month prior, authorities arrested a group for illegally transferring more than ($133 million (SR500 million) abroad.