Police plan control room to monitor ATMs

Updated 30 August 2013
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Police plan control room to monitor ATMs

Jeddah security authorities are studying the possibility of linking ATMs in the city with a security operation room for further surveillance around the clock.
Police spokesman 1st Lt. Nawaf Al-Bouq said the study also includes monitoring money-transfer vehicles via a tracking system.
Al-Bouq explained that prior coordination is in place between money-transfer vehicle firms and the security operation room to ensure no suspicious activity takes place during the replenishing of ATM machines with cash or to intercept other money-laundering activity.
“The Ministry of Interior notified transport firms of other precautionary measures for monitoring such activity,” he added.
A source at the National Commercial Bank said the study is in line with an important recommendation of a workshop held in Jeddah earlier this year. The workshop brought together parties such as the police department, banks, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) and money-transfer firms. They discussed proposals to find more integrated working methods.
The source said the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs set out specific requirements for ATM machines in terms of their location and specifications.
Discussions are ongoing between bank administrations, the Ministry of Interior and SAMA to agree to more reliable standards concerning technical design, the security factor and specifications of the machines according to the location of the bank branch or the commercial center.
“Linking ATM locations and the operation room and supporting the movement of money-transfer vehicles with electronic surveillance to track down their course will provide clients and staff with the maximum protection,” said Al-Bouq, adding: “This is a good move in view of the increasing incidents of crime.”
Companies involved in physically transferring cash need to improve their security, said Al-Bouq. “We need to dismantle the existing monopoly and authorize the entry of new firms that are endorsed by SAMA and the Interior Ministry.”
He said that such procedures are bound to boost performance and services and safeguard money. “It will also give incentive to firms and workers operating in the field of money-transfer,” he noted.
“Money-transfer firms suffer from a high turnover in employees, which subsequently weakens their performance,” said Al-Bouq, wondering at the same time why Saudi youth leave this field of work. “This is a high-risk job. When Saudis find the incentives very low, they leave instead of taking risks.”
He called on authorities to find ways to promote these jobs so that young Saudi men view the work as attractive and safe.
In view of the increasing demand for ATM services, he said, there should be further expansion in granting licenses to more fund-transfer firms.


Events celebrating Saudi Souq Okaz festival kick off on Wednesday

Events are planned across the country to accompany the Souq Okaz festival. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Events celebrating Saudi Souq Okaz festival kick off on Wednesday

  • Makkah will host a show creatively presenting the historical convoys of trade souqs
  • Riyadh and the Eastern Province will be hosting heritage and cultural events such as a show that presents the story of buying and selling in Souq Okaz and encourages people to visit the souq’s events

JEDDAH: Events accompanying Souq Okaz that promote the market and invite people to visit its cultural and heritage activities will kick off on Wednesday, under the patronage of King Salman. The Souq is organized by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and will run June 27 to July 13.

Makkah will host the event of “The Historical Convoys of Thi Al-Mejna and Thi Al-Mijaz Souqs,” a show creatively presenting the historical convoys of trade souqs. These convoys show the method traders adopted to beat travel exhaustion and entertain themselves as they would sing about Souq Okaz and invite people to visit it.

Madinah will host the event “Let’s go to Souq Okaz,” which will encourage people to attend the cultural and heritage events. This event includes activities such as folk shows and interactive, innovative and heritage competitions.

Jeddah will host several cultural seminars focusing on the history of the souq as well as poetry readings and a theatrical show that represents the story of buying and selling in Souq Okaz.

Riyadh and the Eastern Province will be hosting heritage and cultural events such as a show that presents the story of buying and selling in Souq Okaz and encourages people to visit the souq’s events.

Taif will host “Souq Okaz for Performance Arts,” an event that includes heritage and cultural performance activities that reflect the souq’s identity in Al-Hada, Shifa and Ar-Rudaf Park. 

The events accompanying the souq this year will be launched on Friday in Al-Baha and many archaeological sites in the provinces of Al-Mikhwat, Al-Qura and Al-Mandaq.

The events include the camel convoy, horse shows, traditional folk and dancing shows, artifacts, Saudi traditional dishes and the introduction of some popular traditional and historical souqs in the regions.