Donation fraud: Con men cashing in on Syria crisis



JEDDAH: DIANA AL-JASSEM

Published — Sunday 23 June 2013

Last update 28 June 2013 7:14 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

A large number of bank accounts opened purportedly to collect funds for Syrians are fake, according to Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the media and banking awareness committee of Saudi banks.
“We can confirm that so far we don’t have any donation campaigns for Syria. Some individuals are opening small offices and running advertisements urging donations for Syria. Such calls by individuals are unrecognized. Any donation campaign has to be managed or certified by the government,” he said.
In recent days, a good number of such pseudo campaigns have spread in the Kingdom's social media. Information about these is also e-mailed to some unsuspecting Saudis.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), which is tasked with monitoring accounts that transform money to Syria or any other country in crisis due to war or poverty, will take action against these fake accounts.
“Opening donation accounts requires official approval from higher authorities, in addition to the fulfillment of several requirements by Saudi banks and the SAMA,” Hafiz said.
Many Syrian expats, as well as some Saudis, are distressed by what they call the “misuse” of the Syrian crisis. They say many people beg, claiming they are Syrians displaced by the war, just to gain people’s sympathy.
“I work in a retail shop at Aziz Mall. I noticed an elderly woman regularly visiting the mall to beg. She would specifically seek Saudi customers and Syrians. She claimed that she came to the Kingdom after the civil war started in Syria but I had been seeing her for long,” said Saad Koushk, a Syrian who works in a makeup store.
He added: “As a Syrian I felt sorry for her and asked her about her current status and her origins. She claimed that she is from Homs, and particularly from Bab Amor. She didn’t appear to be Syrian and neither did her dialect,” he said.
Koushk then asked the woman to show him her ID or passport. When she did, he discovered that she was, in fact, a Palestinian.
“We feel sorry when we see people beg and try to get money in the name of the Syrian crisis,” he said.
A Saudi woman told Arab News that she had a Yemeni driver, who used to collect money from her and her friends on a monthly basis, which he claimed he was giving to a Syrian family living in the Kingdom.
“After a few months we decided not to give money to that driver because when we gave him used clothes or furniture he would refuse them. He only accepted money. If he were honest and there was really a needy family, the family would accept everything, such as clothes, food, furniture and other stuff, in addition to money,” said Hala Ahmad, a Saudi housewife.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Grand Mufti and Chairman of the Council of Senior Scholarships Sheikh Abdulaziz Abdullah Al-Asheikh called on astronomers questioning the accuracy of prayer timings in the Umm Al-Qura calendar to refrain from confusing people, and confirmed t...
JEDDAH: Turkey’s security agencies have arrested 15,000 members of the Daesh terrorist organization at its airports and border crossings, a diplomat said here recently.The Daesh members had attempted to enter Turkey territory, said Fikrat Ozar, consu...
JEDDAH: The Saudi government has welcomed the Gulf Cooperation Council’s proposals to fight terrorist groups that are attempting to undermine the region’s security and social fabric.This comes in the wake of an extraordinary meeting held by the GCC’s...
JEDDAH: The National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha) is racing against the clock to unravel the circumstances surrounding the enrollment of 107,000 beneficiaries on the lists of social insurance without legal entitlements. These beneficiaries are...
MADINAH: Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah and chairperson of the board of directors of the Takaful Welfare Society for Orphan Care in Madinah, has inaugurated a project to reconstruct houses of orphans.According to the Takaful program, 1...
RIYADH: The Kingdom on Tuesday announced that vaccination against meningitis is mandatory for all local and international Haj pilgrims, while flu shots are recommended for their own safety.Health Ministry Spokesman Khalid Al-Mirghalani told Arab News...
MAKKAH: A mentally-ill Turkish man killed a Sudanese patient in the Makkah Mental Health Hospital of King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Al-Zahir, a news website has reported, quoting Makkah police.The Turkish patient, in his 50s, confronted the Sudanese whe...
RIYADH: Mohammed Ali Al-Husseini, secretary-general of the Arab Muslim Council, based in Lebanon, said here recently that Saudi Arabia enjoys the trust of the international community as the first reference for the Muslim world.The Lebanese Shiite lea...
RIYADH: The King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE) is working closely with the Ministry of Transportation, the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), the Saudi Wildlife Authority (SWA) and the Director-General of Military Surveying t...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education has received requests from 14 governmental agencies that their employees be sent abroad for studies in different specialities. The request is to include the employees as part of the third phase of Custodian of the Tw...
RIYADH: Argentina enjoys excellent ties with Saudi Arabia as it marks its 199th Independence Day anniversary on July 9, according to Ambassador Jaime Sergio Cerda.“Excellent bilateral ties bind the two countries as Argentina holds its 199th Independe...
JEDDAH/KUWAIT CITY: Three Saudi brothers have been arrested in connection with the suicide bombing of a mosque in Kuwait last month, the Saudi and Kuwaiti authorities said on Tuesday. Daesh owned up the attack during Friday prayers, which killed 27...
MAKKAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman performed funeral prayers for Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz bin Musaed, the deceased governor of the Northern Borders Province, at the Grand Mosque on Sunday night.Those present included Makkah G...
JEDDAH: More than 14 million worshippers and pilgrims visited Makkah in the first 16 days of Ramadan, a 40 percent increase compared to the same period last year.These figures were unveiled at a meeting of the Central Haj Committee, chaired by Makkah...
KUWAIT: Kuwait has detained 26 people suspected of involvement in a suicide bombing on a Shiite mosque last month that killed 27 people, a local daily reported on Monday, quoting the public prosecutor.The June 26 attack by Daesh jolted Kuwait, raisin...

Stay Connected

Facebook