Saudi AG reveals corruption close to $100 billion, 7 suspects released without charge

Attorney General Saud Al-Mojeb. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 12 November 2017
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Saudi AG reveals corruption close to $100 billion, 7 suspects released without charge

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has uncovered corruption to the tune of $100 billion.
In a statement on Thursday, Attorney General Saud Al-Mojeb said: “The investigations of the Supreme Anti-Corruption Committee are proceeding quickly ... The potential scale of corrupt practices which have been uncovered is very large.”
Based on the investigations over the past three years, Al-Mojeb estimated that “at least $100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades.”
He said a total of 208 individuals have been called in for questioning so far. Of them, “seven have been released without charge.”
Al-Mojeb, who is also the member of the anti-corruption committee, said the evidence for “this wrongdoing is very strong and confirms the original suspicions which led the Saudi authorities to begin the investigation into these suspects in the first place.”
 

He said given the scale of the allegations, the Saudi authorities, under the direction of the royal order issued on Nov. 4, had a clear legal mandate to move to the next phase of “our investigations, and to take action to suspend personal bank accounts.”
“On Tuesday, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) agreed to my request to suspend the personal bank accounts of persons of interests in the investigation,” he said.
Al-Mojeb admitted that there has been a great deal of speculation around the world regarding the identities of the individuals concerned and the details of the charges against them.
“In order to ensure that the individuals continue to enjoy the full legal rights afforded to them under Saudi law, we will not be revealing any more personal details at this time,” he said.
“We ask that their privacy is respected while they continue to be subject to our judicial process.”
He reiterated that it was important to repeat, as all Saudi authorities have done over the past few days, that normal commercial activity in the Kingdom is not affected by these investigations.
“Only personal bank accounts have been suspended. Companies and banks are free to continue with transactions as usual,” he said.
Al-Mojeb said: “The Government of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is working within a clear legal and institutional framework to maintain transparency and integrity in the market.”


Saudi university launches survey into the effects of women driving

Trainee Maria Al-Faraj practices changing a tire during a driving lesson at the Saudi Aramco Driving Center in Dhahran. Reuters/File
Updated 27 min 47 sec ago
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Saudi university launches survey into the effects of women driving

  • A scientific survey about cars and drivers is being distributed on social media outlets, targeting male and female citizens and residents
  • The data will be analyzed to help make recommendations to benefit the community and the interests of the country

JEDDAH: Researchers will observe and document the effects women driving in Saudi Arabia have on the economy, environment, community and traffic safety. It will also gather information about attitudes toward the change in the law, and the experience of women who get behind the wheel.
With the ban on women driving in the Kingdom due to be lifted on June 24, 2018, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University in Dammam has launched a national study titled “The impact of women’s driving on sustainable development and traffic safety in the Kingdom.”
Researchers from the university, headed by Dr. Najah bint Moqbel Al-Qarawi, a professor of geography of transportation, will supervise the project in collaboration with a specialist team from the General Directorate of Traffic.
Al-Qarawi said that a scientific survey about cars and drivers is being distributed on social media outlets, targeting male and female citizens and residents from all parts of society, in cities and villages. The questionnaire will reveal how participants feel about the issue of women driving and the potential effects it will have.
It will also measure the extent of support for the move from men, while women will be asked about their means of transportation and the main problems they face. Women who want to drive will also be asked about driving, training, the process for getting a license, their fears and aspirations, and for suggestions that might make the process easier and more appealing.
The survey will be carried out in two stages, before and after women get behind the wheel.
The data will be analyzed to help make recommendations to benefit the community and the interests of the country.
Everyone who completes a survey will be entered in a draw to win one of several cars from Almajdouie car company.