Saudi anti-corruption crackdown recovers $107 billion in assets

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has received a report from a special committee investigating public corruption, which will see billions of riyals recovered. (SPA/File photo)
Updated 31 January 2019
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Saudi anti-corruption crackdown recovers $107 billion in assets

  • More than SR400 billion ($107bn) was “retrieved to the state treasury"
  • Settlements were reached with 87 of those accused after they confessed

RIYADH: Saudi investigators have recovered assets worth more than $106 billion in an anti-corruption crackdown ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the royal court said on Wednesday.

The funds are in the form of property, companies, cash and other assets surrendered by  senior princes, ministers and top businessmen who were under investigation.

In the anti-corruption campaign launched in November 2017, many of the Kingdom’s economic and political elite were detained in Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel for nearly three months.

The government summoned 381 people, although some appeared only as witnesses to give evidence. 

A comprehensive review was conducted of the case against each of those detained, under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor, and each was presented with the allegations against them.

Settlements were reached with 87 people who confessed to the charges against them, the royal court said. 

The public prosecutor refused to settle the cases of 56 people because of existing criminal charges against them. Eight people refused to reach a settlement, and have been referred to public prosecution for further action under the law.

Everyone who was detained but not indicted on charges related to corruption has been released, the court said.

The anti-corruption committee set up by the crown prince submitted its report to King Salman on Wednesday. It said it had now completed its work, and asked for the king’s permission to cease operations.

The king agreed, and thanked the committee and the crown prince for their efforts.

King Salman pledged that the Kingdom would “continue its efforts to preserve integrity, combat corruption, and empower law enforcement and other relevant state bodies so that they are able to effectively practice their role in preserving public funds.”


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.