Saudi Riyal
An employee counts a handful of Saudi Riyal banknotes from the cash till of a mobile burger van on the side of a highway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Jeddah: Saudi authorities had arrested a businessman charged with offering a 75-million-riyal bribe to a civil servant, Saudi newspaper Okaz reported Monday, in the kingdom’s latest clampdown on corruption.

The businessman was arrested after his arrival at the Jeddah airport in western Saudi Arabia from abroad on a prosecution order, according to the paper, citing unidentified sources.

The alleged bribe was offered to the civil servant to illegally approve a real-estate deal worth 900 million riyals.

The businessman was found to have been previously convicted in bribery and forgery cases.

The prosecution has demanded the maximum penalty against him in view of his criminal record, the paper said.

In recent years, the kingdom has launched a high-profile campaign against corruption.

In 2017, dozens of royals and ex-officials were rounded up and held for months in an anti-graft swoop.

Last week, a Saudi court sentenced 18 people to varying jail terms in different corruption cases, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported.

The 18, including government officials, were charged with bribery, forgery and power abuse. The court also ordered them to pay fines of more than 4 million riyals.