Cairo: Saudi Arabia’s state anti-corruption watchdog has said that it is handling 889 criminal and disciplinary cases involving multi-million-riyal graft amid an intensified swoop in the kingdom on illicit deals.
In one case, 13 government employees, four businessmen and five expatriates were arrested on suspicion of involvement in corruption and influence peddling at a municipality in a governorate in the Riyadh region, an official at the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazah) disclosed.
When the suspects’ houses were searched, SR193.6 million was found stashed in several sites including artificial ceilings, a ground reservoir, a mosque room and an underground safe, the official said, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.
The overall value of the properties illegally bought and owned by the accused is estimated at 141.9 million while their bank accounts totaled SR149.4 million, the unnamed official added.
In a second case, two Arab expatriates were arrested for having received bribes worth SR4 million from a corporation owner for illegally awarding two projects, one of them worth SR680 million.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up a crackdown on white-collar corruption, nabbing civil servants and entrepreneurs.