No decision on freezing of ‘suspicious’ bank accounts

Updated 01 September 2014
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No decision on freezing of ‘suspicious’ bank accounts

Local banks have not been given directives to freeze the accounts of foreign workers whose bank transactions are not proportionate to their wages, local media reported.
The Ministry of Interior, the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution and courts are the only authorities that have the right to request the seizure of bank accounts and make restrictions on financial movements, Talat Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee, said.
The bank expert was denying earlier reports circulated by media that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) had directed local banks to freeze suspicious accounts owned by foreign workers.
“Bank accounts are normally frozen by agencies in coordination with banks upon directives issued by SAMA because it is a regulatory agency tasked with dealing with commercial banks on issues related to money-laundering, terrorism and other security issues,” he said.
“Freezing bank accounts requires regulations and rules set forth by the Kingdom’s systems. The systems do not differentiate between citizens, residents or any legal entities, whether institutions or companies.”
“SAMA does not issue instructions directly to banks to seize or freeze accounts,” he said.
“Its role, rather, is executive. The agency receives orders from authorities on the seizure or freezing of bank accounts.” “Banks are tasked with verifying data, money sources and transactions provided by their customers,” he said.
He said that banks retain the right to ensure accuracy of data and legality of money.
Banks have various units assigned to fight money-laundering, terror financing and other forms of financial fraud, he pointed out.
The anti-money laundering law does not discriminate between account holders, whether citizens or residents, when monitoring suspicious transactions, he said.


Saudi efforts to promote tolerance, moderation lauded

Updated 23 July 2019
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Saudi efforts to promote tolerance, moderation lauded

RIYADH: The rector of the Islamic University of Brussels hailed Saudi efforts to promote moderate Islam, reject extremism, fight against terrorism, serve the religion and its followers, and respond to aberrant ideologies that have harmed the Muslim world.

Dr. Mustafa Khader Donmez also praised the programs carried out by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

“The Kingdom has established specialized scientific, educational and media institutions, called for the unity of the Islamic nation, and cooperated with all that strengthens the nation’s unity and preserves its security,” he said.

“Saudi Arabia has been holding conferences inside and outside the Kingdom, to which it invited scholars and specialists, in cooperation with regional and international bodies to promote Islamic tolerance and address the causes of extremism and terrorism.”

Donmez said the Kingdom has invited Islamic institutions and international bodies to implement programs and events that fight extremism and condemn terrorism.

“The Kingdom is keen to promote international peace and communication between cultures and the followers of different religions through calling for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, a domain in which the Kingdom has been a pioneer,” he added.

Saudi Arabia “has taken the lead in spending for this purpose as it is in line with its high status on the Islamic and international levels,” he said. SPA Riyadh