JEDDAH: Security officers in Makkah arrested an official in a government department accused of having accepted a SR1 million bribe in return for easing procedures concerning some demolished property designated for a project in the city’s downtown.
The official was caught negotiating with the owners of several properties involved in the bribery case.
Authorities used documents they found in the official’s car to implicate him.
Arab News was told by anonymous sources that it was the owners who tipped the security personnel about the public official and set a trap that helped catch him in the act.
Messages pertaining to the case were retrieved from the cellphone of the accused. The Ministry of Interior urged nationals and residents to report on suspected cases of financial and administrative corruption at both public and private facilities to the concerned authorities.
The ministry will ensure the strict anonymity of the person reporting misconduct. It also warned that anyone engaging in bribery, initiating it or acting as a middleman crime will be punished.
The Interior Ministry said that offering a bribe to a public official is a crime that carries a penalty of 10 years in prison or a fine of SR1 million, or both.
It warns those dealing with public agencies against considering committing such a crime, which would disqualify anyone from receiving government contracts.
It said employees involved in such a crime must pay financial penalties 10 times higher than the bribe and will be denied participation in government contracts.