Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

Updated 28 October 2016

Saudi anti-corruption body probes appointment of minister’s son

JEDDAH: A citizen has sent a complaint to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC or Nazaha), calling for investigation into an alleged case of corruption involving the appointment of the son of Civil Service Minister Khaled Al-Araj to the post of project manager for a monthly salary exceeding SR21,000.
The complaint came soon after the minister stated that the typical Saudi employee does not spend more than one hour a day to do real work, a statement most Saudis deemed offensive.
Saad Al-Thuwaini wrote a complaint letter to Nazaha President Khaled Al-Muhaisin, claiming abuse of power on the part of the minister.
Al-Thuwaini asked that the matter be investigated and that the minister’s son undergo an examination to establish his credentials.
He took issue with the salary earned by the minister’s son, which is rarely obtained by regular Saudis working in whatever specialties and holding whatever qualifications.
The minister insists that his son was not shown favoritism when hired.
The NACC took the complaint seriously, acting promptly.
The anti-corruption body’s spokesman, Abdulrahman Al-Ajlan, said the commission monitors media and Internet news and takes action to ensure the implementation of the national strategy to protect integrity and fight against corruption.
He said the commission is monitoring regularly the social network postings regarding the hiring of the minister’s son.
“I would like to remind all that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman said that the Kingdom does not tolerate corruption of any sort and that no one is above the law,” said Al-Ajlan.
That matter was not discussed by the Nazaha alone, but also by Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) President Prince Sultan bin Salman, who said it is not right to say that citizens do not work and that Saudi Arabia lacks expertise in various fields of work.
A video circulated on social media shows Prince Sultan saying that “the country’s development and achievements over the past years are fantastic and quite difficult to believe ... we cannot say that the citizens do not work and there is no development.”
Prince Sultan said: “Who built this country? Who united it before the discovery of oil, and before economic prosperity? Those who accomplished this were the citizens who trust God Almighty, who stand side by side, who always support their state, who believe in this state, in this place and its future.”

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 39 min 10 sec ago

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.