Dubai: The Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) launched a major crackdown on Monday, arresting a slew of individuals, including security officers, government employees, and foreign nationals on charges of corruption.
The authority is in the process of finalising the legal formalities, post which the accused will be presented before the court for trial.
Notably, among those detained was a criminal court staff member and a lawyer, who were apprehended while accepting SR1.5 million. This bribe was to ensure the validation of an acquittal of a citizen.
Two citizens were arrested when they were accepting SR1 million, believed to be the share for their brother, a judge presiding over the same case. The judge was subsequently arrested.
A series of startling discoveries included a businessman colluding with a bank employee to secure over SR100 million in financing through fabricated project contracts.
In another case, the director of the support services department was arrested for receiving SR12 million from a business owned by an associate, in return for awarding projects unlawfully.
Corruption seemed rampant within the legal sector too. The owner of a law firm was captured while accepting SR180,000 from a business owner. This money was in exchange for procuring a favorable report from a legal consulting company on an SR11 million commercial case, overseen by a particular judge. The report’s fee, SR170,000, was seen being handed over to a citizen by the same lawyer.
Other significant arrests included a lieutenant colonel, head of the Civil Defence Direct Purchase Committee, accepting a bribe of SR509,000 from a foreigner working for a business.
This was in exchange for swiftly processing financial due certificates. The foreign national was also arrested.
A doctor illicitly selling medicines intended to be freely distributed, officials from the Ministry of Defence receiving kickbacks, officers in Public Security stealing significant sums from safety deposit boxes, and various instances of bribe and illicit monetary transactions in return for overlooking official rules and procedures.
The Nazaha stressed that it is determined to root out corruption, emphasising the importance of upholding the law and ensuring transparency and justice.