Saudi Arabia arrests Bangladesh embassy employees in work visas corruption scheme

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Two employees at Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Bangladesh have been arrested as part of a bigger scheme to issue work-visas in the Kingdom that involved 11 others, the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) announced on Saturday.

Abdullah Falah Mudhi al-Shammari, head of the embassy’s consular section, and his deputy Khaled Nasser Ayed al-Qahtani, are among those arrested in the scheme that also involved two interior ministry officials, eight Bangladeshi residents, and visitors and a Palestinian investor, Nazaha said.

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The officials are alleged to have received $14.4 million (54 million Saudi riyals) in installments while working at the embassy in return for issuing work visas.

The suspects “acknowledged receiving parts of the money within the Kingdom through the detained residents, while investing the remainder of the money outside the Kingdom,” Nazaha said.

A total amount of $5.38 million (20,180,000 million riyals), gold and cars were found while raiding the houses of some of the residents implicated in the scheme, the authority said on Twitter.

“It turned out that they were the proceeds of selling work-visas in the Kingdom,” Nazaha said.

Arrests in the case were made in cooperation with the interior ministry.

The authority underscored that it will continue to pursue anyone who exploits their public position or misuses public interests and money even after leaving office.

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