Riyadh city skyline
Riyadh city skyline at night. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia’s Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has investigated 562 corruption cases in different government sectors, the authority said on its Twitter account.

The cases were related to fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption, as the kingdom pursues a relentless crackdown on corruption.

Nazaha said 136 Saudi and foreign resident officials of the Defence, Interior, National Guard, Health, Justice, Housing and Education ministries as well as the Tax and Customs authority were arrested. They were allegedly involved in bribery, abuse of office and fraud, the authority said.

Nazaha has recently handled a number of cases including one in which a judge and 12 government employees comprising two ex-governors, an encroachment committee chief, a land department head and two court employees were arrested.

The anti-graft watchdog arrested a judge, an ex-chief of an execution court, for receiving SR2.5 million in bribes from an attorney and international travel tickets from a businessman in return for offering to them legal services affecting the course of cases at the court.

A judge at an administrative court was also arrested in another case for having taken SR1.6 million from an owner of a company through a mediator in exchange for issuing rulings in favour of that firm.

Moreover, 12 foreign residents and a Gulf state national were arrested for enabling a container carrying tobacco to illegally enter a seaport, claiming it was carrying furniture. The expatriates were arrested upon receiving the container and paying SR920,000 out of the SR2 million at a warehouse that belonged to the Gulf citizen.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has stepped up a crackdown on white-collar corruption, arresting dozens of state employees and entrepreneurs.