Cairo: A Canadian court has ordered a freeze of a former Saudi security official’s worldwide assets and ordered him to disclose them or face possible imprisonment time, according to media reports.
The orders by the Ontario Superior Court were made in response to a lawsuit filed by the Saudi state company Tahakom Investment Co. against Saad Al Jabri, a former Saudi security advisor, accusing him of embezzling billions of dollars during his work at the Interior Ministry.
The court also ordered banks, legal firms and auditors in Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the US to disclose any records related to Al Jabri’s assets and requested judicial authorities in these countries to help enforce the order of asset disclosure, the UAE newspaper Al Bayan reported.
The court’s decision on freezing the assets of Al Jabri, who is now living in Canada, is seen as a successful step in the Saudi government’s pursuit of corruption cases at a Western court of law. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has made fight of corruption a top priority since 2017. His anti-graft campaign has resulted in retrieving billions of looted dollars to the state coffers.
The suit against Al Jabri has accused him of siphoning off billions of dollars during his 17-year stint at the Saudi Interior Ministry by seizing money the kingdom had allocated for an anti-terror fund and his alleged involvement in power abuse and sealing dubious deals with security firms.
The suit also accuses him of illegally owning 26 estates worth over $43 million in Saudi Arabia and other luxury properties in the US and Canada.
It accuses Al Jabri of funneling money from the companies funded by the Interior Ministry for anti-terror activities, and now owned by Tahakom, to himself, his family and associates.
“While Al Jabri’s hands were hidden, his fingerprints are everywhere,” the lawsuit says, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The suit cites a series of alleged irregularities by Al Jabri including his transfer of two properties in Geneva and Vienna, valued together at nearly 400 million dollars, from a Tahakom subsidiary to an entity that he ultimately controlled. “This was simply an outright theft carried out through a complicated series of fraudulent transactions orchestrated to enrich Al Jabri, his family and his Co-Conspirators,” the lawsuit alleges.
In remarks to the same paper, a Saudi official rejected claims that the legal action against Al Jabri is politically motivated.
It is “a private dispute filed by corporate entities to recover funds that have been misappropriated from those entities,” the unnamed official said.